Sean Payton has been swirling in Dallas Cowboys head coaching rumors since the day Jerry Jones let his offensive coordinator get away; only growing stronger every year since Payton became a success off the bat with the New Orleans Saints. Whether Payton’s ability to deliver Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett more humiliation has anything to do with this eternal storyline is up for debate, yet undeniably intriguing.
The Saints (6-2) will aim to rebound from a 26-20 loss in the windy Meadowlands against the New York Jets as they host the Cowboys (5-4) — who had a close shave with Minnesota Vikings today — on Sunday night football.
NFL Week 10 Matchup, Game Time and TV Info: Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (8:30 p.m. ET on NBC)
Predicted Point Spread: Saints by 6 (Early spread: Saints by 7)
Preview: It will be interesting to see how Drew Brees’ and Co. exploit a pass defense that’s vacillated between good some weeks and historically bad in others. Marques Colston sat out against the Jets while Jimmy Graham has been bothered but not benched by foot issues. Rookies Kenny Stills and Kenny Vaccarowill be leaned on heavily.
Vacarro’s shown enough flashes to validate his first-round draft stock while also showing the uneven play of a rookie in a big role. His versatility in coverage and run defense is absolutely critical for this unit but his 447 snaps have yielded a Pro Football Focus grade landing him 67th among safeties on the season. If fellow versatile DB Malcolm Jenkins can return from injury it will be interesting to see how they pitch in on additional coverage for home-run threats Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams.
Key Matchup: Jason Garrett vs. Rob Ryan
Ryan was unceremoniously dumped by Jones following the 2012 campaign, even though Ryan did a bang-up job with a hobbled Cowboys defense. Tony Romo, Garrett and Ryan gained familiarity over the past couple years in Big D and that makes this chess match especially intriguing.