When the 2010 NFL season began, this Christmas night matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals was projected to be a key late-season showdown between two playoff teams. Both teams made the playoffs in 2009, and were expected to return this season.
Instead, though, both teams have disappointed, giving this Christmas night matchup on NFL Network at 7:30 at different character. The Cowboys are just 5-9 after a woeful start, while the Cardinals have floundered recently and are just 4-10. Dallas has played much better since Jason Garrett took over for Wade Phillips after a 1-7 start. They are 4-2 since then, with the two losses coming by three points to the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles. They are coming off a 33-30 win over the Washington Redskins last week.
Arizona is coming off a 19-12 loss to lowly Carolina, which is especially disappointing because they had a 43-13 blowout win over Denver the week before. Arizona has dropped eight of nine since a 3-2 start, and the loss to Carolina was a new low.
Rookie quarterback John Skelton will make his third straight start despite an unimpressive performance in Carolina. Tony Romo was originally projected to return to the lineup for the Cowboys, but instead, Jon Kitna will start. The Cowboys placed Romo on injured reserve on Tuesday.