Cowboys move on without Prescott against Cardinals

The Dallas Cowboys formally begin life without star quarterback Dak Prescott when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night.Prescott’s season is over after he sustained a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle during last Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.Prescott has passed for an NFL-leading 1,856 yards and veteran Andy Dalton will be asked to keep the Dallas offense churning. The Cowboys lead the NFL in total offense (488.0 yards per game) and rank third in scoring (32.6).Running back Ezekiel Elliott indicated he isn’t the least bit concerned since Dalton has nine prior years of experience as an NFL starter for the Cincinnati Bengals.”Dak definitely is special,” Elliott said. “He definitely is special but I think we have a lot of pieces in this offense and Andy’s played at a high level in this league. I think we should still be one of the best offenses in the league.”Dalton, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, has passed for 31,705 yards and 204 touchdowns in his career. The Bengals released Dalton in late April after using the No. 1 overall draft pick on quarterback Joe Burrow and Dallas signed him as insurance behind Prescott a few days later.That $3 million the Cowboys guaranteed Dalton now looks like a stellar investment after Prescott’s injury.Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said there will be adjustments to the offense but he doesn’t expect any decline in production.”We all have great confidence in Andy,” McCarthy said. “We’ve all been working together since training camp. … I expect Andy to keep our offense moving forward and hopefully we can improve some.”Perhaps the defense will be the bigger issue when the Cowboys (2-3) try to slow down quarterback Kyler Murray and the Cardinals (3-2).Dallas is allowing an NFL-worst 36.0 points per game and ranks 27th in total defense (404.4 yards) and Murray and offensive-minded coach Kliff Kingsbury are likely salivating at the matchup possibilities.Murray is highly familiar with AT&T Stadium in Arlington because he won three state high school titles in the facility while playing for Allen High, located about 25 miles north of Dallas.Murray said there won’t be much time for reminiscing during his first visit as an NFL player.”I will be able to enjoy the moment, but at the same time I know what’s at stake,” said Murray, who also won two games at AT&T Stadium while in college at Oklahoma. “This isn’t about me going home. I’ll be able to enjoy it, but at the same time, to enjoy it, you got to win.”

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