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Dallas (5-9) at Arizona (4-10)

Shield your eyes for this trio of games, the exact type of matchups the NFL hopes to avoid in late December. And to the league’s dismay, one of them is in prime time: the Christmas night, uh, showcase between the disappointing Cowboys and the wretched Cardinals.

Dallas placed Tony Romo on injured reserve this week, and it still probably has the two best quarterbacks on either roster in Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee. You could argue the Cardinals are as big a flop as anybody in the NFC _ unless it’s the Cowboys.

Houston doesn’t even have a .500 record to play for, and that could cost coach Gary Kubiak his job. Denver has already fired coach Josh McDaniels, and a Mile High housecleaning is in the forecast.

Detroit deserves praise for breaking its record road skid with a win at Tampa last Sunday. The Lions could get another away victory in the Sunshine State because Miami is 1-6 at home.

How improved are the Lions this year? Detroit has been outscored by only 21 points compared with deficits of 232 last year and 249 in its winless 2008 season.