GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A lot of the attention focused on Ezekiel Elliott this season has been for the wrong reasons.
While his availability for a full season is in question, as the courts decide whether to stay an injunction that prevents his six-game suspension for violating the personal conduct policy from taking effect, Elliott will focus on his effort Monday night when the Dallas Cowboys take on the Arizona Cardinals.
The running back was lax on two interceptions in last week's loss to the Denver Broncos, which drew the attention of many, and he had just 8 yards on nine carries.
How will he bounce back?
The last time he played in University of Phoenix Stadium, he ran for 149 yards and four touchdowns in Ohio State's Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame on Jan. 1, 2016.
Elliott also seems to like prime-time games. He had 104 yards in the season opener against the New York Giants, and in seven night games he is averaging 110 yards on the ground. The Cowboys are 6-1 in prime-time games the past two seasons.
A sticky mess: In the first week of the season, wide receiver Dez Bryant had to deal with Janoris Jenkins of the New York Giants. Last week it was Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. of the Denver Broncos. Monday night it will be Patrick Peterson.
Peterson has 20 career interceptions -- only Richard Sherman and Reggie Nelson have more since 2011. When Bryant went against the Cardinals in 2014 with Peterson going up against him for most of the game, he had two catches for 15 yards and a touchdown, but Brandon Weeden started that game with Tony Romo injured.
Through two games, Bryant has nine catches for 102 yards and a touchdown on 25 targets. Peterson might be the best of the cornerbacks Bryant has seen so far.
"Just think he's a rare guy," coach Jason Garrett said. "Incredible athlete, has got great size, speed, quickness, athletic ability, his change of direction is off the charts, his feel and instincts for the games, his stickiness as a cover guy, his ability to catch the ball and return the ball. He's a rare football player."
Stopping the run: After C.J. Anderson went for 118 rushing yards last week for Denver, the Cowboys catch a break this week because the Cardinals do not have David Johnson, who is on injured reserve with a wrist injury.
But they are not ready to take Johnson's replacement, Chris Johnson, as a cakewalk, especially with how poorly the Cowboys tackled last week. A year ago the Cowboys did not allow a 100-yard rusher. They don't want to get on the wrong kind of streak Monday night.
"Obviously it disappointed us," linebacker Sean Lee said. "We talk about it all the time that you have to work on the fundamentals and you think you got them and you don't. When you play a great player, a great team in the NFL, the margin for error is small. You have to be on point."
The ref: Coming off a 25-point loss last week, the Cowboys can use any sort of good vibes against the Cardinals. Craig Wrolstad will be the referee. The Cowboys won both of their games a year ago with him calling their games. Here is a breakdown of his work last week in the New England Patriots-New Orleans Saints matchup.