cardinals cowboys player props
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

In one of Week 17’s most mouth-watering matchups, the Dallas Cowboys (11-4) host the Arizona Cardinals (10-5). Arizona was once the NFC’s top seed with the best record in football, but three straight defeats have seen them slip to the fifth seed in the conference, chasing Los Angeles for the NFC West crown. Meanwhile, four straight victories have pushed Dallas to the NFC East title and within one game of Green Bay for the conference’s lone playoff bye.

Let’s take a look at the best Cardinals vs. Cowboys player props picks for this key NFL Week 17  matchup.

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The 3 Best Cardinals vs. Cowboys Player Props

CeeDee Lamb Anytime Touchdown Scorer

It seems safe to say that CeeDee Lamb is overdue for a trip to the endzone. Lamb has failed to cross the goal line in five straight games, despite his team winning each of the last four. That is remarkable considering he leads a team that is third in the league in passing yards per game and first in points per game in targets (114), receptions (74), and receiving yards (1,006). And, even with that scoring drought, Lamb is still just one away from the team lead in receiving touchdowns with six. Lamb’s numbers rate well on a league-wide level, too, as he is in the top 20 amongst all NFL players in each of those aforementioned categories.

Dallas has had 20 of its 31 passing touchdowns go to wide receivers this season (64.5 percent). The Cowboys have had at least one passing touchdown in all but two games, doing so in all of its home contests. In fact, they had multiple touchdown catches in 10 games already, with wide receivers hauling in two or more in eight of those, six of which were here at home.

Lamb has an ideal opponent against which to get back into the scoring column. Arizona’s sixth ranked passing yardage defense masks some bigger underlying problems for the Cardinals’ pass defense. They allow the 11th most receiving touchdowns per game (1.6), a rate that has spiked to 2.7 per game in the team’s last three outings, second most in football in that stretch.

Arizona also allows the NFL’s second highest percentage of its opposition’s touchdowns via the pass (70.6 percent). Wildly, in the last three games, every touchdown scored against the Cardinals came via the pass with seven of the eight scores going to wide receivers.

It’s no surprise then that 22 of the 32 offensive touchdowns conceded by Arizona in 2021 were scored by wideouts (69 percent). Wide receivers are also responsible for 21 of the 24 receiving scores against the Cardinals in 2021 (88 percent). With Lamb leading Dallas wideouts in rushes with nine for 76 yards, giving him another outlet to score against an opponent that has already allowed a wide receiver to run one in, he should have a plethora of chances to break his duck and score his seventh touchdown of the season here.

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James Conner Anytime Touchdown Scorer

James Conner is listed as questionable here and will likely be a gametime decision. However, if he can go, he provides tremendous value returning better than even money as an anytime touchdown scorer. Despite missing last week’s game, Conner remains second in the NFL behind Jonathan Taylor in rushing touchdowns with 14 and third behind Taylor and Austin Ekeler with 16 total touchdowns.

Conner leads the league with 14 red zone rushing touchdowns in 2021, meaning all of his rushing scores came inside the 20 thus far. If you look deeper, you find that 11 of them were scored from inside the 10 yard line with a staggering eight one- or two-yard touchdowns to his name.

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This could prove significant in this game. Dallas has only allowed 12 rushing touchdowns on the season with seven scored by running backs. Of those 12, 11 were four-yard rushes or less, including all seven by the backs. Insanely, five of the seven rushing touchdowns that opposing running backs did score against the Cowboys were one-yard efforts, Conner’s specialty.

Making this prop selection even more enticing is the fact that Arizona has two receiving scores by running backs this season and Conner owns them both. He faces a Cowboys’ defense that has allowed two receiving touchdowns by backs this season, including one of the only two touchdowns scored against it last week.

The Cardinals have scored 20 touchdowns in their last eight games. Running backs scored 13 of those 20 with Conner responsible for 10 of them. That means that James Conner has scored half of the team’s touchdowns since the old midway point in the season. He is a must-buy here as an anytime touchdown scorer ahead of a game his team needs in order to have a shot at the division title

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Kyler Murray Longest Completion Over 37.5 Yards

Kyler Murray has struggled mightily during the Cardinals’ plummet from atop the NFC standings. However, an elixir could be arriving in the form of the Cowboys’ pass defense, at least in terms of this prop bet. While Dallas’ defense has looked dynamic on the field of late, it is still just the league’s 20th best at stopping the pass.

Note: Be sure to check out our three best NFL Week 17 upset picks.

Within that below average ranking sits the fact that the Cowboys allow the third highest yards per completion average by their opponents (11.4), a number which actually jumps to 12.4 yards per catch at home. Some of that is evidenced in the fact that the last seven touchdowns scored against Dallas by opposing wide receivers have gone for 20 yards or more, including five touchdown catches that were longer than this prop’s yardage requirement.

The Cowboys have allowed 22 different players to catch balls of 30 yards or longer against them in 2021, with only Atlanta failing to have at least one. In fact, 15 of those 22 guys had catches that satisfied this prop, spread out over 11 different games. Also, two of the four teams that failed to top this prop’s number against Dallas are ranked well below Arizona in passing yards per game and yards per completion.

Arizona is 10th in the league in passing yards per game and 12th in yards per catch, despite Kyler Murray missing three games. Murray is actually the NFL’s fourth best in terms of net yards per passing play (7.1) and third best for yards per pass thrown (8.1). Murray has completed a pass of at least 30 yards in all but two games this season, doing so to 18 different guys in his 12 games.

In an important game for both with a high posted total and one in which Arizona finds itself a sizable dog, Murray should be able to connect on a deep pass long enough to cash this prop.

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