Saints-Cowboys Presents An NFL Thursday Night Gem

Sports News With Football We are not generally fans of the NFL’s Thursday night game. Never have been, never will be. Beat-up players, especially at this time of the...

Sports News With Football

We are not generally fans of the NFL’s Thursday night game. Never have been, never will be.

Beat-up players, especially at this time of the season, must prepare quickly for what might be an important game while not exactly at their physical peak. In a normal week, practice does not begin until Wednesday. In a short week with a Thursday game, Wednesday is a travel day for one of the teams.

All of that said, there are plenty of reasons to look forward to the opening of Week 13, as the New Orleans Saints (10-1) visit the Dallas Cowboys (6-5). You can watch this festive tilt on Fox and the NFL Network at 8:20 p.m. ET.

The Saints have won 10 straight games and are proving themselves to be an excellent team on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Drew Brees (29 touchdown passes, 2 interceptions) is burnishing his Hall of Fame credentials and the Saints are just blowing up offensively.

They lead the NFL in points per game (37.2) and point differential (+153). They are four games ahead of the Carolina Panthers in the NFC South and unbeaten (5-0) on the road.

What will bring out the best in the Saints? A challenge from a team whose playoff status is far less certain, but whose focus has sharpened in recent weeks.

The Cowboys (6-5) have won three straight, which puts them in a tie for first in the NFC East with the Washington Redskins, who have lost two straight. The addition by trade of receiver Amari Cooper has opened up the offense and allowed Ezekiel Elliott more running room, and he now leads the league with 1,074 rushing yards.

With a veteran QB like Brees, the short week should not hurt the Saints much in preparation. They’ve showed they can handle the noise from opposing crowds and they’ve got the look of a team that feels it is bound for something great.

The Cowboys? You never quite know what you’re going to get, and three of their offensive linemen are considered questionable for the game. But quarterback Dak Prescott has settled down with Cooper as a prime target, the defense is sound and Dallas also looks poised for a push.

So let’s watch this one. It should be good. We’ll know a little better if the Saints are making a run at glory and if the Cowboys are making a run at the playoffs.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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