Scoot: The one area the Saints must win to beat the Cowboys

November 29, 2018 - 12:33 pm

Something has to give: the Saints are riding a 10-game winning streak and the Cowboys take a 3-game winning streak into tonight’s battle between the Saints and the Cowboys on Thursday Night Football.

The Cowboys 3-game spark was ignited by RB Ezekiel Elliott and QB Dak Prescott – both have been tough and efficient. The Saints have continued their winning streak since losing the season opener to the Tampa Bay Bucs behind the precise passing of Drew Brees, the running of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, an offensive line that has functioned as a blockade against opposing teams and a defense that seems to get better every week.

The Saints have the #1 ranked offense in the NFL and the #1 ranked defense against the run. Through the Cowboys winning streak, Elliott has had three consecutive 100-yard games and the Saints defense has not allowed a RB to gain 100 years so far this season.

The game tonight is in AT&T Stadium – “Jerry World” - where fans are sure to be in a frenzy over their Cowboys and a chance to maintain the lead in the NFC East. The NFC East is a division dominated by two teams with 6 – 5 records and the Saints are 10 – 1 in the NFC South followed by the Panthers at 6 – 5. If the Saints win – they clinch a playoff berth. If the Cowboys win – their recent resurrection continues.

So what will give? The fact that the game is a home game for the Cowboys at “Jerry World” means they will have the fans at their backs in a game Jerry Jones said needs to be treated like the Super Bowl. But the Saints have had big wins on the road this season. In a game like tonight’s, you can throw out the statistics and the different match-ups on offense and defense. The one area that the Saints must win to beat the Cowboys tonight is meeting and beating the emotion in this game.

All NFL teams lift weights, practice, study and try to get psyched for each game. The Cowboys have the advantage of being at home with a 3-game winning streak and the motivation to knock off the hottest team with the best record in the NFL. Those factors can create a lot of emotion and there is every reason to believe the Cowboys will be full of emotion tonight.

The Saints have the challenge of continuing their 10-game winning streak. Teams that go on long winning streaks have the challenge of staying emotionally high and hungry, and going into “Jerry World” tonight will test the Saints emotional fortitude.

Based on the way the Saints are playing, the near-perfect season Drew Brees is having and the obvious resolve of Coach Sean Payton, I expect the Saints to beat the Cowboys and make it 11 in a row!

If the Saints are to win – it will be because they won the battle of emotion, which is always more of a challenge in a hostile setting. But this is a very special Saints team.

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