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Patrick Peterson Preps For Dez Bryant

Notes: Star-studded matchup on outside; Bucannon edges closer to return; Palmer gets rest day


Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson covers Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant when the teams last met in 2014.

Patrick Peterson doesn't want to be predictable.

The Pro Bowl cornerback knows he'll be on a top receiver for some 70 plays in a game most weeks, and he doesn't want to be predictable. So when the Cardinals host the Cowboys Monday night and Peterson gets a chance to cover a star wideout like Dez Bryant, he maps out a strategy.

That Peterson will play press much of the time is no secret, but Peterson sketches out a plan of when the jam will come quick, when it is faked, when he'll play the receiver normal. He'll take into account if that receiver might be frustrated with the press, whether the guy might like to hand-fight.

"I think I have a pretty good one planned," Peterson said Friday.

It's the third time Peterson will have taken on Bryant. In 2011, with Tony Romo as his quarterback, Bryant had eight catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. In 2014, with Brandon Weeden playing quarterback, Bryant could only manage two catches for 15 yards, his short touchdown grab coming with little time left and the Cards in control.

The Cardinals won both games.

"I wouldn't say I get more intense," Peterson said of facing Bryant. "I get more dialed-in. I'm dialed-in with other receivers but you know you're going to have opportunities to make plays. You know the ball is going to come your way. This team is not going to shy away when you have a tier one receiver like Dez Bryant."

Bryant called Peterson "a hell of a corner."

"He's arguably the best cornerback in the league," Bryant told Dallas reporters Friday. "He knows how I am, I know how he is. It's gonna be a pretty damn good matchup."

Peterson said he and Bryant aren't necessarily friends, although at some point he wouldn't mind to help his offseason workouts.

"I don't have Dez's number but anytime I see him around, there's always love," Peterson said.

"I don't have any personal relationship with any receiver around the league but Larry (Fitzgerald)," Peterson added, laughing.


Defensive coordinator James Bettcher said recovering money linebacker Deone Bucannon (ankle), who was limited again Friday, is getting more reps every day. Bucannon's availability Monday could come down to

game day, Bettcher added.

When he does return, Bettcher echoed coach Bruce Arians' comments that Bucannon could move around if necessary.

"You go back to training camp, we break up meetings and he's in there by himself, watching tape, making calls, going through the script a second time, watching tape of himself," Bettcher said. "These last two weeks he's played Money, Mike, Moe, he's played all the positons (in practice). That just speaks to the character of the guy. He loves the game. He lives for it."


The Cardinals' injury report was unchanged Friday other than the addition of quarterback Carson Palmer, who took a rest day. Wide receiver John Brown (quad) and tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) did not practice. In addition to Bucannon, linebacker Karlos Dansby (hip), wide receiver J.J. Nelson (hamstring), tight end Jermaine Gresham (ribs) and guard Mike Iupati (triceps) were limited.

For the Cowboys, wide receiver Terrance Williams (ankle) was added as a did-not-practice, and wide receiver Brice Butler (ankle) was added as limited. Also sitting out were cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring), cornerback Nolan Carroll (concussion), linebacker Anthony Hitchens (knee) and defensive tackle Stephen Paea (knee). Cornerback Orlando Scandrick (hand) was limited.

Images of the key players for this week's opponent, the Dallas Cowboys

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