The Dallas Cowboy defense will be put to its sternest test of the season Monday night in what promises to be an entertaining contest if you like alley fights (9 p.m., WJLA-TV-7).

It will be the Cowboys against St. Louis in a rivalry that has begun to surpass Dallas' entanglements with Washington on the hate scale.

At least the Cowboys feel that way St. Louis coach Don Corvell is not so sure. "I don't think I see as much intensity before our games with Washingon," said Coryell. "We kind of hate them personally. But I don't think it is that way with Dallas. Let's not say we hate Dallas. We fear Dallas. "At least I do."

The Cowboy-Cardinal rivalry has reached a high level of intensity with Dallas, however. "There was more talking when we played them the first time this year than there has ever been," said Cowboy safety Cliff Harris.

Dallas goes into the game as the only undefeated team in the NFL and St. Louis - three games back - has woon four in a row since dropping a touch 30-24 decision to Dallas earlier in the season.

Cardinal guard Dan Dierdorf, recovering from a broken jaw suffered last week will miss the game, according to a Cardinal Spokesman. Dierdorf had two teeth pulled Friday. Six-year veteran Keith Wortman will replace Dierdorf.

The spokesman also said wide receiver Mel Gray, who is nursing a foot injury, is still listed as questionable.