Cowboys vs Saints Week 13: History, players to watch, gut prediction

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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15. Cowboys -4.5. 123. 5-6. 8:20 PM ET. 7-4. NFL Network. Thursday, Dec 2

The Dallas Cowboys travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints in Week 13 in yet another game both teams desperately need in terms of playoff implications. The Cowboys are on a two-game skid and need a win to stay in any sort of contention for the #1 seed and a first-round bye in the NFC. The Saints need a win to stay afloat in the Wild Card race.

Dallas hit a bit of a November speed bump going 1-3 in their last four games. Luckily, the NFC East continues to be a clown show and couldn’t make up any ground. That said, this team has their eyes set on more and needs a win to make any sort of run at the top of the NFC. Another loss all but eliminates a chance at the bye.

The Saints are hovering around the .500 mark and in a logjam with a handful of teams for the seventh and final Wild Card spot. They are searching for a win to get to 6-6 and set themselves up for a stretch run to get into the playoffs.

As usual, I’ve got a little matchup history, what to expect in New Orleans, some guys that could influence this game when all is said and done, and my best attempt at a prediction. Check it out!

Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys vs New Orleans Saints: Matchup History

All-Time Record: 17-13 in favor of the Cowboys

Most Recent Result: New Orleans Saints 12, Dallas Cowboys 10 on September 29, 2019

After the Cowboys won 11 of the first 12 games in this matchup, the Saints have rattled off a more recent record of 12-6 since 1988. Since 2013 this series has seen victories alternate hands between two teams making playoff runs and usually in contention.

We have to talk about the tie between Sean Payton and the Cowboys. In 2003 he joined the staff and remained on the offensive side of the ball until the Saints poached him for the head coaching job prior to the 2006 season. There have been rumors of Payton returning to Dallas ever since.

In 2019 when the Cowboys were looking to move on from Jason Garrett, they reached out to Payton to gauge his interest in returning to be the head coach of the Cowboys. Payton ultimately signed an extension with the Saints putting that rumor to bed.

A personal favorite game of mine dates back to 2009, the year the Saints won the Super Bowl. The Saints were sitting at 13-0 and welcomed Dallas to town. The Cowboys found success beating the Saints offensively, forcing turnovers, and holding on for an upset. This game was the only time that the Cowboys were able to take down Drew Brees while he was at the helm of the Saints’ offense.

This year sees a game of musical chairs at the Saints quarterback position. They started the year with Jameis Winston who unfortunately tore his ACL ending his season. They had moved to journeyman Trevor Siemian to lead the offense with a sprinkling of utility-man Taysom Hill taking some snaps as well, although it appears Hill may be the starter come Thursday.

The Saints have been banged up but are staying just enough above water to hang in there. They did have their all-around star running back Alvin Kamara rejoin the team on Sunday for a walkthrough after being inactive. His progress will be a large factor in this game.

The Cowboys appear to have advantages on paper but the Saints are never an easy out at home with it always loud there in primetime. Sean Payton will have the Saints ready to go and could turn this thing into another dogfight if the Cowboys are sluggish.