Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 12/2/2021

by Chuck Sommers

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

Season record
Cowboys: 7-4 (1st place, NFC East)
Saints: 5-6 (T-2nd, NFC South)

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Cowboys - Saints preview and analysis


Last week
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.

Prediction


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

Betting trends


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.

Statistical leaders


Cowboys:
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

Saints:
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

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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