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Preview: Dallas at New Orleans
When: 8:30 PM ET, Sunday, October 4, 2015
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Drew Brees declared that he is “very confident” he’ll be under center when the New Orleans Saints vie for their first victory of the season when they host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. Nursing a bruised rotator cuff in his right shoulder, the veteran quarterback made the proclamation on Wednesday during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Brees has been a limited participant in practice on both Wednesday and Thursday after sitting out last week’s 27-22 setback to NFC South rival Carolina. The Cowboys won’t shed a tear for the plight of the Saints, as quarterback Tony Romo (broken collarbone) will remain a bystander until at least Week 11 while the return of flashy wideout Dez Bryant (foot) is still up in the air. Backup Brandon Weeden fared well by completing 22-of-26 passes for 232 yards, but was unable to stretch the field as Dallas unraveled late and dropped a 39-28 decision to Atlanta. While Weeden is attempting to snap a nine-start losing streak, the Saints are hoping to avoid an 0-4 start for the third time in nine years (2007, 2012).
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Off. O/U: Off
ABOUT THE COWBOYS (2-1): Running backs Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar enjoyed career performances last week, with the former rushing for 87 yards and three touchdowns while the latter had a personal-best 10 receptions for 100 yards. Tight end Jason Witten has 21 catches to enjoy his best three-game start to a season and looks to exploit a New Orleans’ defense that has surrendered 17 receptions for 268 yards and three touchdowns to tight ends. “(The Panthers moved Greg Olsen) around and were able to hit on some big plays, some good throws and good catches, so you always hope you can kind of capitalize on some areas there,” Witten told ESPN.
ABOUT THE SAINTS (0-3): Mark Ingram has struggled to get untracked on the ground (3.3 yards per carry), but the former Heisman Trophy winner has matched Brandin Cooks for the team lead with 16 receptions. Coach Sean Payton told the team’s official website that they’d like to expand the role of running back C.J. Spiller, who has been limited to four rushes for 11 yards and three receptions for 41 yards in two games since returning from knee surgery. Khiry Robinson, who leads the team with a 4.0 rushing average, amassed 105 total yards in New Orleans’ 38-17 setback to Dallas in 2014.
1. Dallas can establish a franchise record with 11 consecutive road victories with a win Sunday, while New Orleans is looking to snap a six-game skid at home.
2. Brees sits two passing touchdowns shy of 400 for his career.
3. Cowboys WR Terrance Williams, held without a catch last week, reeled in six catches for 77 yards and two touchdowns in his last meeting with the Saints.
PREDICTION: Cowboys 27, Saints 21