The Dallas Cowboys have faced Kyler Murray once since Murray has entered the NFL. Murray and the Arizona Cardinals crushed a Dak Prescott-less Cowboys team 38-10 during a forgettable 2020 season.
Things are a bit different entering this season’s matchup. Dallas is battling for the top-seed in the NFC with two weeks to go, while Arizona has struggled as of late. Prescott is behind center for the Cowboys this time around, and Dallas is a 5.5-point favorite, as a result.
The biggest obstacle for the Cowboys, though, is Murray himself. Kyler Murray is one of the most electrifying players in all of the NFL and is emerging as one of the better quarterbacks in the league during his third season. Murray is lightning in a bottle and is a headache for any defense to defend.
MURRAY’S SUCCESS IN AT&T STADIUM
The Dallas Cowboys host Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals inside AT&T Stadium on Sunday. Murray is more than comfortable playing in the home of the Cowboys, holding an undefeated 8-0 record when playing in Jerry’s World.
Murray was a high school superstar at Dallas-suburb Allen, where he won three state championships and multiple other playoff games at AT&T Stadium. He then led Oklahoma to a Big 12 title in, you guessed it, AT&T Stadium before winning the 2018 Heisman Trophy.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 30, 2021
Then, of course, last season happened. Murray has thrived inside the home of the Cowboys since he was a teenager. It is almost like a second home to the Texas legend, so you have to imagine that he will be cool under pressure on Sunday afternoon.
“Since high school, I just think I’ve been on pretty good teams. I’ve had the privilege to play with a lot of great players, a lot of great coaches, Murray said this week. “We’ve showed up whenever we’ve played there … I guess just good juju in that building.”
Murray enters week 17 with an unblemished record at AT&T Stadium. Dallas has the opportunity to hand Murray his first loss in the stadium that he has found so much success in.
COWBOYS DEFENSE WILL HAVE HANDS FULL
No matter where Murray plays, he is dangerous. He can beat you with his rocket arm, or he can beat you with his speedy legs. Either way, Murray has the answer to whatever the defense is throwing at him.
This will undoubtedly put a ton of stress on defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and the Cowboys defense. Micah Parsons seems to be as perfect of a player to play a “spy” role against Murray as there is, but the Cowboys don’t want to limit what Parsons can do, either. It will be a total team effort.
KYLER MURRAY WAS MOVIN’ 💨
57-yard run for the QB.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 26, 2021
Fortunately, the Dallas Cowboys defense has been playing lights out. Parsons is one of the favorites to win Defensive Player of the Year. DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory have feasted when getting after the passer. Trevon Diggs has 11 interceptions and is a big-play waiting to happen.
Dallas is very aware of what Murray and the Cardinals offense are capable of after last year’s performance — granted, Murray did struggle throwing the ball. The Cowboys can’t allow Murray to play on his terms in week 17. Dallas must make him as uncomfortable as possible.
A chance at the top seed in the conference is at stake for the Cowboys. Knocking off Murray and the Cardinals would go a long way in Dallas potentially grabbing home field advantage in the postseason.
Featured image via Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports