This week’s NFL odds have the ‘Boys, who are in a three-way tie for the division lead at 8-6, as a 3-point favorite versus the Saints. The over/under is put at 51.5 points.
Dallas has won three straight games and five of its last six to storm back into playoff contention, and all of those wins came in close decisions. Last week, the Cowboys continued the trend by surviving in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24.
The Saints fell out of the playoff hunt with a three-game losing streak, but certainly rose to the occasion a week ago in a 41-0 throttling of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
During this latest run, Dallas has seemed to have found its rhythm offensively thanks largely to the return of running back DeMarco Murray from injury and the continued emergence of wide receiver Dez Bryant. Murray finished with 81 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries against the Steelers while Bryant, playing with a broken finger, caught four balls for 59 yards with one all-important touchdown.
Dallas has been ravaged by injuries on the defensive side of the ball, but coordinator Rob Ryan has managed to keep the unit competitive during this Cowboys run. They were without six defensive starters against the Steelers, including cornerback Morris Claiborne, who is listed as probable to play against the Saints. The Cowboys rank 15th in total defense and have begun to get timely turnovers, none more so than Brandon Carr’s interception in overtime against the Steelers that set up the winning field goal.
Dallas certainly appears dangerous moving forward, but you have to wonder when all the injuries will become an issue. It could be this week when Drew Brees and company hit town.