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Arizona Cardinals vs Dallas Cowboys: 5 Questions with Blogging the Boys

NFL: Pro Football Hall of Fame Game-Arizona Cardinals vs Dallas Cowboys Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

With the Arizona Cardinals taking on the Dallas Cowboys for the second time this year, but the first time where it actually means something, it was time to bring Blogging the Boys back.

I reached out to Dave Halprin, the creator of Blogging the Boys to answer some questions to help get us ready for Monday Night Football.

1. How did the Broncos D cause issues for the Dal OL?

There were a few elements that came into play in that game, and it's not a sure thing that they all can be reproduced. For one, the Cowboys offensive line played as poor a game as we've seen in a while. They were not in sync and they were unable to move the line of scrimmage like they normally do. Sometimes, a team just has a bad day and the Cowboys had one on Sunday. The Broncos defense also had a lot to do with it, they stacked the box like most teams do against Dallas, but they did an outstanding job of filling every gap. The Cowboys like to zone block and leave Elliott a lane to shoot through or cutback. The Broncos were very gap conscious and held their positions well. They didn't allow the gaps to open. The Broncos also believe strongly in their corners and safeties, and they were able to match up with the Cowboys receivers without much help. This allowed the defense to continue throwing bodies at the running game. The Cowboys also starting falling behind, so they abandoned the run a lot quicker than they normally do. Basically, everything that could go wrong for the Cowboys went wrong, and they got punished.

2. Jaylon Smith has been wracking up tackles, but how has he looked in his first two games?

He's looked like a good NFL linebacker. He hasn't had any "wow" plays yet, but he has played solid football. Most observers don't think he's 100% back to what he was in college, and no one is sure if that is ever going to happen. But he's been able to play a lot more snaps that was anticipated, there has been no re-injury or soreness that has been reported, so he looks like he's back in terms of being able to play regularly. He's probably still a little rusty after such a long layoff, and he should get better as the season progresses. That said, he's still doing a good job in the middle, a very competent linebacker.

3. What is the biggest strength of the Dallas D?

The biggest strength of the Cowboys defense, at least previous to the Broncos game, was their ability to not give up big plays, stop the run and keep everything in front of them. Their philosophy is more bend-don't-break and they will give up the short pass because they usually tackle really well. That didn't happen int he Broncos game and that's why thing got out of hand really quick. Their tackling was atrocious. But in general, the Cowboys are a good tackling team that hustles to the ball one very play. They won't overwhelm an offense, but they usually don't let the offense get easy plays or scores.

4. What's up with Dez Bryant?

I don't think Dez and Dak Prescott have the chemistry that Dez had with Tony Romo. They are working on it, but they can't find the connection yet. It doesn't help that Dez has gone up against some top-notch corners to start the season, and now he'll find another one in Patrick Peterson. The Cowboys are forcing the ball to him a little too much. They probably should spread it around a little more and let the game flow naturally to Dez.

5. Game prediction.

I'm hoping that after last week's total destruction the Cowboys will come out focused and with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder. I expect them to commit to the run and after last week, the line and Elliott will be itching to prove they can dominate a game again. The Cowboys will try to return to their formula of running the ball, controlling the clock and forcing the opposing offense to fight tooth and nail for every yard, hoping they will make a mistake along the way. Cowboys 23 - Cardinals 17.