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Game week begins for Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals Football
Posted at 5:39 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 20:39:13-04

GLENDALE, AZ — The game week preparations have commenced as the Arizona Cardinals gear up for the Dallas Cowboys at State Farm Stadium on Friday night.

Cardinals fans can expect to see Kyler Murray in action, but how many series he plays has yet to be determined. With three preseason games instead of four now, will that mean more time for the starters in game one? Will game two now take on the role of game number three previously, where the starters typically play the first half?

"We're going to take it one game at a time, reevaluate and go from there,” said Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury. “Not exactly sure how much these guys will play in the first one, but I would expect most guys to give at least some action.”

“[We] want to get some of the new pieces working with some of the veteran guys that have been in this offense. [We] have a new center, have some new wideouts, have some new DB’s, young linebackers, new D-lineman. [We want] to get those guys meshing and just get a feel for each other, speed of the game and kind of go from there.”

Cardinals veteran offensive lineman Justin Pugh isn’t exactly the fondest of preseason football.

“You're asking a salty offensive lineman veteran,” he joked. “We proved last year that we necessarily didn't need the preseason games to go out there and be productive. Everyone thought they weren’t gonna be able to identify the game of football being played on the field. We went out there and still had a successful season.”

“I’m all for taking miles off guy's bodies, but that's a 30, soon-to-be 31-year-old offensive lineman talking, so maybe someone else in there has a different opinion. Maybe one game, knock the rust off, let the guys know what it's gonna look like, what it's gonna feel like, how we get ready, and then we go play for real. That's what we get paid to do anyways, right? Play on Sundays.”

An area to watch is the cornerbacks, where Byron Murphy Jr. is the only guy that has played a regular-season game for the Cardinals. Malcolm Butler was brought in this offseason. Robert Alford is entering year three for the Cards, and still looking to play his first game. Then there are the two rookies they drafted in Marco Wilson and Tae Gowan.

“Murphy, Alford, Butler - three guys with lots of experience. Byron not as much, but has played a ton of snaps his first two years compared to those other guys, but has really come a long way in a short time. Then drafted Marco, have Tae, have Darqueze [Dennard], there's some depth in that room, so it'll be a great battle,” said Kingsbury. “I don't know how it's gonna play out just yet, but I've seen really good competition and that group has made big strides throughout the first couple of weeks.”

The only player to return from injury Monday was Christian Kirk, who practiced fully. A.J. Green, Rondale Moore, J.J. Watt and Jordan Phillips remained out.

Kickoff against the Cowboys is set for 7 p.m. Friday at State Farm Stadium.