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NFL New Orleans Saints

Saints vs. Cowboys NFL Week 16 Preview

New Orleans Saints vs Dallas Cowboys

Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints will be traveling to Dallas to take on the Dallas Cowboys in this week 16 matchup. The Saints are coming off of their first shutout win since 1995 and are sitting at 6-8 for the regular season. The Cowboys on the other hand are coming off an emotional overtime victory that has kept their playoff hopes alive and have an 8-6 record right now.

The Saints are not officially ruled out of playoff contention but it seems unlikely that will make it to the playoffs this season. The Cowboys are looking to sneak into the playoffs despite being in a three-horse race in the NFC east division. This game could be a close contest as both teams have the ability to light up the scoreboard. However, if this game comes down to a shootout it would be hard to bet against Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense.

The Saints are playing for pride and if they can keep winning there is a very slim chance that they could still get a wildcard berth. However, the Saints would need a lot of other teams to lose in order for them to get into the playoffs. The Saints would love to play spoiler to the Cowboys’ playoff chances but getting a win in Dallas will not be easy.

Saints X Factor: The Saints’ x factor for this week will be running back Mark Ingram. Ingram has been playing great for the past two weeks and has been a force in the Saints’ ground game. We all know that Brees will handle the offense in the air but we also know that the Saints are at their best when they have a balanced offensive game. Ingram will be a big factor for the Saints as he attempts to rush past the Cowboys’ front seven.

Cowboys X Factor: The Cowboys’ x factor for this week will be wide receiver Dez Bryant. Bryant played last week on a broken finger and will play through his injury for the second week in a row. Bryant is the Cowboys’ number one receiving threat and the team will need him to come up big in order to secure a win. Bryant did not seem to have too many issues with his finger last week so I would expect a big game from Bryant this week.

How the Saints can win this game: The Saints will win this game if they play a balanced game on the offensive side of the ball. However, this game will be won on the defensive side of the ball and the Saints’ defense has been playing great as of a late. Last week the Saints recorded three interceptions as they shut out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints should build off of the momentum from last week’s game and the defense should help the offense by getting the ball back in the hands of Brees and Ingram.

How the Cowboys can win this game: The Cowboys will win this game if Tony Romo can get the ball to Bryant early and often. Also, Romo needs to limit his turnovers and play like the good quarterback he knows he can be. In addition, to the Romo and Bryant connection the secondary needs to slow down Brees and try to force some turnovers. Last week cornerback Brandon Carr had a huge pick that secured the win for the Cowboys. The Cowboys would love for Carr to bring some of the magic he had last week to this game against the Saints.

Final Prediction: The Cowboys are definitely playing for a lot more in this game as they are trying to make it to the playoffs. The Saints have a slim chance to make the playoffs but they still plan to win out the rest of the season. Furthermore, the Saints are playing great and have the momentum on their side. With all of that said I think the Saints will come into the Dallas stadium and beat the Cowboys. The Cowboys have shown that they are too inconsistent this season and I think the Saints are coming into top form as the season nears the end. I think the Saints win this game 35-23.

Alejandro Aviles is the Featured Writer for the New Orleans Saints at Rant Sports @aaviles312