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NFL Week 1 Cardinals vs. Commanders: Arizona downgraded with Josh Dobbs as likely QB

For most of this offseason, it was expected that the Arizona Cardinals would be starting veteran journeyman Colt McCoy in Week 1 at the Washington Commanders, but the Cards surprisingly cut McCoy on Monday and it now should be trade acquisition Joshua Dobbs under center on Sept. 10 with Kyler Murray on the PUP list. With the McCoy/Dobbs news, the #HTTC rose from 6-point favorites to -7 and the total dropped from 39.5 to 38.5.

Last Thursday, the #BirdGang sent a 2024 fifth-round selection to Cleveland for Dobbs and a 2024 seventh-round pick. First-year Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing worked with Dobbs as the Browns' quarterbacks coach last season. The Cards did try to sign the QB in free agency. Prior to the trade, it was expected that the 28-year-old Dobbs would back up Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, but UCLA rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson won that job.

Recently traded from Cleveland, Josh Dobbs is expected to start Week 1 for Arizona.

Dobbs, a 2017 fourth-round pick out of Tennessee by Pittsburgh, has seen action in eight regular-season NFL games career and started two, both last year with the Titans. They lost both at home to Jacksonville and Dallas with Dobbs completing 40-for-68 for 411 yards, two TDs, six sacks taken and two picks – good for a rating of 73.8 that would have been last in the NFL had Dobbs played enough to qualify.

Presumably, Dobbs now only has to beat out rookie fifth-round pick Clayton Tune (University of Houston) to start the opener. First year coach Jonathan Gannon refused to name a starter on Monday between Dobbs and Tune, saying Arizona has a "pretty good plan in place" to decide who will be the first-team quarterback and that he might not announce it until day of the game.

“I’m not going to name a starter,” Gannon said, “because I think it’s a competitive advantage for us going to Washington, but we’ll know who the starter is.”

Pretty rare for a newly acquired QB to not play a down in the preseason for his new team (Dobbs did play in one preseason game with Cleveland) and then start Week 1.

The 36-year-old McCoy played in 12 games for the Cardinals over the past two seasons and was 3-3 as a starter to improve to 15-36 in his NFL career. He was the first-team quarterback all spring and training camp but had been dealing with an elbow injury. The Cardinals still owe McCoy $2.25 million in guaranteed salary despite cutting him.

"I don't think it's anything he didn't show us," Gannon said. "I think it was just looking at OTAs and then training camp and the games and the full body of work, we just feel like this is the best way to go."

Murray will miss at least the first four games because he will not be activated off the Physically Unable to Perform list by the deadline Tuesday. He’s recovering from a torn ACL suffered in Week 14 last year. Once he's activated, he'll have 21 days to practice and be put on the 53-man roster or will have to spend the entire season on the PUP list.

Tune (9-for-12, 85 yards) and journeyman David Blough (11-for-22, 93 yards on TD) were the only QBs who played in Arizona’s final preseason game over the weekend against Minnesota.

Washington has won eight straight at home in the series, but Arizona is 7-0 ATS in its past seven vs. NFC East opponents.

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