Game time: 8:20 p.m. ET; Dec. 2, 2021
Venue: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Where to watch: NFL Network
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Cowboys -4.5
BetMGM: Cowboys -4.5
Caesars: Cowboys -4.5
Cowboys: 7-4 (1st place, NFC East)
Saints: 5-6 (T-2nd, NFC South)
Doc’s Sports is coming off a monster weekend in football highlighted by a blowout winner with our Big 10 Game of the Year. Expect more of the same this week on Monday Night Football with a selection they like so much it warrants a 10* rating. Catch Doc’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.
Cowboys - Saints preview and analysis
Cowboys: lost 36-33 (OT) vs. Raiders (Thanksgiving)
Saints: lost 31-6 vs. Bills (Thanksgiving)
The Dallas Cowboys have fallen off a cliff and are in desperate need of a win. They’ll try and bounce back on Thursday Night Football when they visit the New Orleans Saints.
Ever since that Sunday Night Minneapolis Miracle that saw Cooper Rush lead the Cowboys to a stunning victory, they have not won a game. That’s not to say Dallas’ backup quarterback shouldn’t be given a $100 million contract on the spot, but it hasn’t been a fun time since.
Dak Prescott has lost consecutive games and is coming off a 375-yard, two-touchdown performance in a home loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving Day. Keep in mind that’s 375 yards without Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb so maybe we can hold off on the Rush statue.
But nevertheless, the Cowboys have found themselves somehow spiraling downward and no longer in control of an NFC East that should be theirs from start to finish. Three straight wins from the Washington Football Team has closed the gap, but Dallas still leads by two games.
Lamb should be back after clearing concussion protocol, but Cooper is still in COVID-19 protocol as of Tuesday and is likely not to play. Silver lining, supposedly. But head coach Mike McCarthy won’t be available due to COVID, so Dan Quinn will be the head coach. Cowboys fans need to brace themselves in the event of a 28-3 lead.
The hope for the Cowboys would be to not have so many penalties called against them in this game. There were 14 penalties apiece called on the Raiders and Cowboys but Dallas cornerback Anthony Brown was flagged four times for pass interference. It is my sincere hope that this generation of referees understands one day what is a catchable ball.
But if there was a time for the Cowboys to get back on track, it’d be against a Saints team that has no concept of offense at the moment. The Saints lost 31-6, also on Thanksgiving, against the Buffalo Bills. Trevor Siemian threw for 163 yards and an interception for the Saints’ fourth straight loss.
Times have been rough since Jameis Winston went down for the year due to a leg injury. The running game can still have some sort of success for as long as Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram II are healthy. But Siemian has not been the answer and the fact it’s taken four weeks for Sean Payton to realize that is possibly sad. They’d probably go to Taysom Hill at some point to keep the playoff hopes alive, but Hill is now dealing with plantar fascia and one has to wonder if the QB can even run without getting in pain at this point.
The Cowboys have gone 1-3 ATS while also going 1-3 straight up. The only win being the 43-3 beatdown of the Atlanta Falcons is really a problem. The Saints have also only gone 1-3 ATS since losing Winston. The lone win was a two-point loss to a Derrick Henry-less Tennessee Titans squad.
There’s no reason why the Cowboys should lose this game. Even with the head coach being restricted to calling a game via Zoom on his couch, Prescott should outduel whoever is quarterback for the Saints and put enough points to get back on track and win. Cowboys by 17
The over is 4-0 in the Cowboys’ last four Thursday games.
The Cowboys are 6-0 ATS in their last six games against conference opponents.
The under is 9-1-1 in the Saints’ last 11 Thursday games.
The home team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.
Players to watch
Cowboys: Backup running back Tony Pollard is looking for his fourth straight game of at least 65 yards from scrimmage.
Saints: Mark Ingram, the franchise’s all-time leader in rushing yards with 7,823, is looking for a third straight game of at least 100 yards from scrimmage.
Passing: Dak Prescott -- 2,932 yards, 22 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Ezekiel Elliott -- 720 yards, 6 TD
Receiving: CeeDee Lamb -- 740 yards, 6 TD
Defense: Micah Parsons -- 9 sacks
Passing: Trevor Siemian -- 1,083 yards, 9 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Alvin Kamara -- 530 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Alvin Kamara -- 310 yards, 4 TD
Defense: Marcus Davenport -- 5.5 sacks
Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Dallas Cowboys - New Orleans Saints prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NFL projections and previews.