Arizona Cardinals Week 3 matchup has all the makings of a trap game

The Dallas Cowboys are the class of the NFL while the Arizona Cardinals simply want to prove they can hang onto a lead so far in 2023.
New York Giants v Arizona Cardinals
New York Giants v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

The Arizona Cardinals are 0-2, and you can only wonder what they would look like right now if quarterback Kyler Murray’s knee was 100%. There is a strong chance that a pair of 2-0 teams would be battling it out in the desert in a Week 3 matchup between an upstart young football team and one full of experienced veterans. 

But that isn’t the case, and the Redbirds are 0-2 and will be without their best player on offense until at least Week 4 and their best defensive player for the foreseeable future. On paper, this matchup couldn’t be more lopsided, but there is a reason why you play each and every game in the NFL - because regardless of the matchup and the consensus, there is always a possibility for an upset. 

And it’s not like the Cardinals don’t have experience in this realm. In 2003, they were just 3-12 when they stole a win from the Minnesota Vikings, a team that started off 6-0 that year. To add insult to injury for the Vikes, Arizona also ended Minnesota’s playoff hopes that season. 

Go back to 1998, when the seemingly overmatched Cardinals marched into Dallas and flew back to the desert with their first playoff win in a half-century. On paper, the Cards looked incredibly weaker than the Cowboys, and the same is true this Sunday. 

Arizona Cardinals Week 3 matchup could be a potential trap

The Cowboys crushed both New York teams in a span of eight days, and they have 70 total points on the season. Dallas’ defense also allowed just 10 points in their first two contests, so if you do the math, they are averaging 35 per game while allowing just five. 

Yeah, so it’s safe to say Joshua Dobbs and the Cards have a pretty tall task. But, the Cardinals should also see this upcoming matchup as an opportunity as opposed to a curse. Young teams that aren’t expected to win often who adopt this mentality can defeat serious contenders or even eventual Super Bowl Champions. 

Remember, the Kansas City Chiefs found a way to lose to the Indianapolis Colts last season. So if the Cowboys head into this matchup thinking they got the game won and the Arizona Cardinals look at Dallas as an opportunity to show the NFL universe that they can beat some of the league’s best teams, then the Redbirds are walking away with the improbable W. 


(Statistics and historical data provided by Pro-Football-Reference)