The Dallas Cowboys will have a big test in Week 13 as they take on the New Orleans Saints. How can Dallas stop the Saints? Let’s take a look.
The Dallas Cowboys will be faced with a stiff test on Thursday as they will take on the unstoppable New Orleans Saints. Is there any way the Cowboys can stop this high powered offense? Let’s take a look.
Now even remotely thinking the Dallas Cowboys are capable of putting down the Saints is somewhat ridiculous/borderline laughable at first glance. However, the defensive matchups that the Cowboys will get will be incredibly beneficial to how they play football.
Let’s also not forget while the Cowboys may seem hot, the Saints have won 10 games straight, so while winning three games is impressive it is not the focus here. The Saints only lost one game and that was in Week One, surprisingly enough, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
No NFC East team so far has managed to put up 20 points on the Saints and that could be a telling sign. After all the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants are not known for having prolific offenses, rather hard-hitting defenses.
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The only team to come close to beating the Saints after Week One was the Baltimore Ravens who only lost that contest by a single point. So how do the Dallas Cowboys matchup? Well, the team currently ranks 9th in total net yards allowed eight spots away from Baltimore.
Dallas is the sixth-ranked team when it comes to stopping opposing running backs from gaining yardage this season, which realistically isn’t that surprising. The Dallas Cowboys linebacking corps led by Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith have been absolutely incredible.
They rank fourth in rushing yards allowed per game and fourth in points allowed per game. This tells us that the Dallas Cowboys have a top ten defense when it comes to limiting big plays and controlling the flow of a football game. Dallas is also currently tied for the lead in sacks as the team’s pass rush has been firing on all cylinders.
More importantly, the Cowboys are a notch above the Saints when it comes to running the football as Dallas is ranked fifth in the NFL while the Saints are sixth. The Cowboys are also fifth in yards per attempt while New Orleans is all the way down at 19.
This is not a knock on the Saints running backs (Alvin Kamara/Mark Ingram) who are obviously very productive but more of a characteristic of how the Saints move the football down the field. Big pass plays to both receivers and running backs often fuel their drives.
A big pass play often sets up a red zone attempt for both of these backs which is why the team leads the NFL with 19 rushing touchdowns on the season. Causing Drew Brees to feel uncomfortable in the pocket is next to near impossible, but the Dallas Cowboys have the right pass rush to do just that.
The mix between the Cowboys stifling defense and clock eating offense should go a long way to quieting the Saints on Thursday. They can keep the ball away from Drew Brees with Ezekiel Elliott and can strike quickly thanks to Amari Cooper.
The Dallas Cowboys are playing their best football at the right time as this will be their biggest challenge to date.
- Published on 11/27/2018 at 23:00 PM
- Last updated at 11/27/2018 at 12:50 PM