The 2010 NFL Christmas Day football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals (host) is scheduled for Saturday December 25 (7:30 PM EST) at University of Phoenix Stadium. The NFL Network will broadcast this inter-division contest. Dallas is 4th in the NFC East with a 5-9 record; Arizona is last in the NFC West with a record of 4-10. This article offers TV time and predictions for the 2010 Cowboys-Cardinals game.
1) Cowboys-Cardinals Matchup
Saturday’s primetime game features two last-place teams in the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals. As both teams have pretty much been eliminated from playoff contention, a victory here would be a nice consolation to a long season. Since 2000, the two teams have met 9 times with Dallas enjoying a small 5-4 advantage. This is mostly due to the Cardinals’ poor record at home against the Cowboys. The last time Dallas and Arizona meet was in 2008; the Cardinals won that contest 30-24.
2) Jon Kitna vs. John Skelton
The only NFL game scheduled for Christmas Day pits veteran quarterback Jon Kitna against rookie QB John Skelton. For the season, Dallas’ Jon Kitna (who took over the starting position midway through the season) has accumulated 2250 passing yards, 15 TDs, and a respectable QB rating of 91. Arizona’s John Skelton (in just three appearances) has thrown for 387 yards with no TD. While one can’t draw any concrete conclusion from Skelton’s incomplete stats, the fact that the QB ratings for his two starts are both under 60 is a little worrisome. The experienced Jon Kitna is clearly the better quarterback at the moment.
3) Jason Garrett vs. Ken Whisenhunt
No two NFL teams have been greater disappointments this year than the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals. Both teams came into this season as division champions, only to struggle mightily. As of this game, Dallas and Arizona have pretty much been eliminated from a postseason berth. The only thing left to play for each team is pride and a chance to finish the season in a good note.
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The Dallas Cowboys come into this contest in very good form, having won 4 of their last six games. Jason Garrett’s team has been terrific on offense, ranking 7th in the NFL. The team is especially strong in the passing game, placing 4th overall. The team’s biggest weakness this year has been its defense. Jason Garrett’s crew is next to last in points allowed, including a shocking 28th place in passing defense. The Cowboys have been relying exclusively on its offense to score enough points to win games.
While there are some bright spots for the Dallas Cowboys, there is little that is bright for the Arizona Cardinals. Ken Whisenhunt’s team is at the bottom of nearly every statistical category. Arizona is 27th in points scored, 31st in passing yards, and 30th in rushing. The Cardinals are equally as bad defensively. Ken Whisenhunt’s crew is 28th in points allowed, 24th in passing defense, and 30th in opponent rushing yards. Against a strong Dallas Cowboys’ offense, Arizona’s chances of winning this contest are very slim.
My prediction for the 2010 NFL Christmas Day football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals: the Cowboys win on the road 38-14. Kickoff time for the game is 7:30 PM EST. The game will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium, and will be broadcast by the NFL Network.