Perhaps the most impressive teams in the NFC this year have been the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys. The two face will off in Arlington on Sunday in a game that could impact playoff seeding come January.
Despite the prolonged absence of quarterback Carson Palmer and multiple key defensive players, the Cardinals have begun to run away with the NFC West, the division many pegged as the toughest in the league entering 2014. Head coach Bruce Arians has kept his squad together, piecing together wins over several marquee teams including the San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles.
Despite a Monday night loss to Washington and a hobbled Tony Romo, much of the talk in the NFC has centered on the Cowboys. After five consecutive years without a winning record, Jerry Jones' crew appears on pace for a playoff berth and perhaps a division championship. The success has been built on the back of DeMarco Murray and the running game, a change from the wide open passing attack of recent seasons.
In his last three games, Palmer has thrown six touchdowns against only one interception. He's also thrown for 250 yards or more in each of those contests. On the ground, Andre Ellington has amassed 464 yards and two touchdowns despite dealing with a foot injury all year. He leads all Arizona tailbacks in yards per carry at 3.6.
Murray became the first running back in NFL history to rush for 100 or more yards in each of the first seven games of the season, a streak he extended to eight after gaining 141 yards on the ground against Washington. He's on pace to become just the eighth member of the 2,000-yard club. Complementing him is receiver Dez Bryant. Though he has only two 100-yard games this season, Bryant has saved his best performances for Dallas' biggest opponents, recording a combined 13 catches and 214 yards against the Seahawks and Giants.
The Cardinals enter game with a record of 6-1. The Cowboys come in at 6-2.
How to watch
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington
When: 1 p.m. ET
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
Online streaming: Verizon NFL Mobile
The Cowboys are 2.5-point favorites according to OddsShark.