Will the Dallas Cowboys Prove They're the NFL's Best Team in Week 3?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
Will the Dallas Cowboys Prove They're the NFL's Best Team in Week 3?

Could the Dallas Cowboys be the 2023 NFL season’s greatest show on turf? It’s looking that way so far. As Dallas enters their Week 3 road matchup against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, September 24, at 4:25 p.m. eastern standard time, on the field at State Farm Stadium in Glendale Arizona, no team in the league has looked better than the Dak Prescott piloted Boys in blue and gray.

Granted, not everyone is sold. Dallas has not exactly faced the toughest competition to open the season. They destroyed a lifeless New York Giants offense in Week 1 before getting to feast on the Aaron Rodgers-less New York Jets in Week 2. Nevertheless, you don’t total 70 points through your first two games by accident. Dallas appears to be a collective flamethrower. And regardless of what you think about the level of competition they’ve faced, nobody’s trusting Arizona to win this game. Just look at the latest Cowboys vs. Cardinals betting odds:

Dallas Cowboys-720+520Arizona Cardinals

Please remember to double-check these NFL online betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Cardinals vs. Cowboys odds are accurate entering Wednesday, September 20. The best betting sites for the 2023 NFL season will keep making line adjustments right up until opening kickoff on Sunday evening.

Whether there will be any meaningful movement remains to be seen. We wouldn’t count on it. The Cardinals remain without starting quarterback Kyler Murray, who’s still recovering from an ACL injury he suffered late last season. If anything, given how far the moneyline has already traveled in the Cowboys’ direction, we could see oddsmakers pulling outright options altogether and instead only offering over/under and point spread betting odds.

Is this matchup really that one-sided? Let’s explore the landscape as we drop our Cardinals vs. Cowboys predictions!

Maybe the Cowboys aren’t the NFL’s Best Team, But They’re Pretty Darn Close

As we’ve already mentioned, the level of competition Dallas has faced isn’t all that impressive. But great teams demolish lesser foes. That’s what the Cowboys have done through two games. There’s little to suggest they’ll stop in Arizona.

Prescott is currently completing a whopping 71 percent of his passes. His average yards per attempt are down, and he’s tossed just two touchdowns, but he’s also thrown zero interceptions. That’s excellent possession management. 

Strong play on the ground has helped, too. Dallas’ running backs, again, aren’t picking up a ton of yards on every play; the team is 23rd in net yards per rushing attempt. But the Cowboys’ runners are protecting the ball and finding the red zone. Dallas is fifth in rushing touchdowns.

The real story, though? The defense. The Cowboys are first in points allowed per game, first in interceptions and first in net yards allowed per passing attempt. The combination of pressure they put on the cornerback coupled with the speed and craft they have in the secondary is brain-bendingly absurd. It could honestly be a while before we see an opposing offense crack the 20-point benchmark. To date, Dallas has allowed just 10 combined points over the first two weeks.

Skeptics will insist we need to see more evidence before crowning the Cowboys a betting favorite to win the Super Bowl. That’s fair. We’ve yet to see the defense go up against an elite quarterback this season. Here’s the thing: That’s not changing on Sunday. Arizona is rolling out Joshua Dobbs under center in Murray’s absence. And while he has shown some mobility outside the pocket and has yet to throw an interception, the Cardinals offense remains miles from elite.

OSB Prediction: Dallas Cowboys (-720)

Dallas Cowboys To beat the Arizona Cardinals

How Much Should Dallas be Favored by in Week 3?

Now we’ve reached the harder part of this discussion. As you can see below, the latest NFL point spread betting odds for Cowboys vs. Cardinals have Dallas favored by nearly two touchdowns:

  • Dallas Cowboys, -12.5 (-115)
  • Arizona Cardinals, +12.5 (-105)

Given that Dallas is paying out -115, it’s clear that this number has not scared the public away from betting on them to cover. This decision isn’t as easy for us.

Yes, the Cowboys are 2-0 against the spread thus far. But the Cardinals are 2-0 against the spread, as well. Arizona also looked like it figured a bunch of stuff out on offense during the first half of their Week 2 loss to the New York Giants. They hung 21 points on G-Men while allowing zero. And since so much of the Cowboys’ success has been predicated on possession management, we could see the Cardinals keeping things abnormally.

Forced to choose, we’re sticking with the Cowboys. They understand how important these early-season games are in advance of matchups with the Philadelphia Eagles and other NFL powerhouses in the NFC. 

OSB Prediction: Dallas Cowboys, -12.5 (-115)

Dallas Cowboys To cover the point spread against the Arizona Cardinals

Will the Cardinals Offense Put Together a Complete 60 Minutes of Football Against the Cowboys?

We know where linemakers stand on this one. You can tell they’re lower on Arizona’s offense by looking at the latest NFL over/under betting odds on this Week 3 showdown:

  • Over 43 (-115)
  • Under 43 (-105)

This feels like a line that could move up in the coming days. The Cowboys might be good for more than 30 points once again themselves. Arizona did, after all, allow 31 points to New York’s lackluster offense in the second half alone last week. 

Tilting toward the “under” is a vote of confidence in Dallas’ defense. Will they hold yet another opponent to fewer than two touchdowns? We’ll say no. Dobbs has looked more mobile than Daniel Jones (Giants) and Zach Wilson (Jets) in the early going. This may be a classic case of Arizona putting early points on the board with surprising movement before Dallas adjusts and shuts them down in the second half.

OSB Prediction: Over 43 (-115)

Cardinals and Cowboys To score over 43 combined points

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2023 NFL betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

Online Sports Betting may receive compensation if you sign up through our links. Rest assured, we avoid biases and provide honest opinions on sportsbooks. Read more here.