|5:20 PM PT6:20 PM MT7:20 PM CT8:20 PM ET1:20 GMT9:20 6:20 PM MST8:20 PM EST7:20 PM CT5:20 UAE (+1)20:20 ETNaN:� , November 29, 2018|
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas Attendance: 93,004
Cowboys hope to end Saints' 10-game win streak
New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys
- The Saints have won nine of their last 11 games against the Cowboys and have gone 5-2 against them since hiring Sean Payton away from Dallas prior to the 2006 season. The Cowboys won their most recent home game against the Saints in 2014 but have gone 1-4 at home versus New Orleans since 2000.
- New Orleans has won 10 in a row since dropping its Week 1 game to the Buccaneers. The 10-game win streak is the longest by any team in a single season since Dallas won 11 in a row in 2016, and it's the second-longest in franchise history behind a 13-game run in 2009.
- Dallas is seeking its first four-game winning streak since 2016. Each of its last three wins has come by one possession, giving the Cowboys eight such games this season. Only the Giants and Eagles (nine each) have played more one-possession games.
- Drew Brees has faced the Cowboys eight times in his career and has thrown for 2780 yards, the most in a player's first eight games versus a single opponent all-time. Tom Brady is next on that list with 2604 yards in his first eight games against the Steelers.
- Dak Prescott has completed at least 70.0 percent of his passes in two of three games during Dallas' win streak after failing to do so in 13 straight games. In his career, Dallas has gone 12-1 (.923) when Prescott finishes with a 70.0+ completion percentage, compared to 16-14 (.533) when he comes in under 70.0.
- The Saints' 409 points are the fifth most through 11 games of a season in NFL history behind the 2007 Patriots (442), the 2013 Broncos (429), the 1950 Rams (415) and the 2000 Rams (412). None of those teams won the Super Bowl.
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Quarterback Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints' offense has been getting most of the attention during their 10-game winning streak, but the focus will be on the Saints' run defense when they face Dallas Thursday night on the Cowboys' home field.
The Cowboys have the league's leading rusher in Ezekiel Elliott, who has run for 1,074 yards while averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
He has gained at least 120 yards on the ground in each of Dallas' last three games. It is no coincidence that the Cowboys (6-5) won all three of those games to push them into a tie with Washington for first place in the NFC East.
New Orleans (10-1) might have the answer, because the Saints lead the NFL in rushing defense, allowing just 73.2 yards on the ground per game. New Orleans allows opposing runners to gain just 3.6 yards per carry, which is virtually tied with the Chicago Bears for the best in the league.
Both teams will have adequate rest, since both played on Thanksgiving Day and won.
Elliott was limited in practice on Sunday with hip soreness, though he was not listed on Monday or Tuesday's.
Dallas head coach Jason Garrett said on Monday. "He was dealing with hip soreness coming out of the game. That's why he was limited yesterday."
Elliott's success recently has helped quarterback Dak Prescott become more productive.
During the current three-game winning streak, he has completed 70.7 percent of his passes with three touchdown passes and no interceptions.
"We're getting better each and every week," Prescott said. "That's what you want to do, that's what you need to do this time of year. November football, that's as good as it gets. Playing a team like we're playing, we're excited about it."
The Cowboys' defense is playing well too, although the challenge increases when Dallas faces Brees and the Saints' offense.
"Our hands are full, but we're looking forward to it," Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said.
The Saints lead the NFL with a scoring average of 37.2 points per game, and they have scored 30 points or more in five straight games. They rank sixth in rushing yards, sixth in passing yards and fifth in total yards.
Brees leads the NFL by a sizable margin in passer rating (127.3), and he has completed 76.4 percent of his passes, with 29 touchdown throws and just two interceptions.
Plus, New Orleans has allowed its quarterback to be sacked just 11 times this season, tied for the fewest in the league.
"Obviously, what the defense does to a degree dictates how we play, what we're calling or maybe how we're doing things," Brees said, "but for the most part as we go throughout the week of preparation, we talk about our execution, we talk about our tempo, we talk about our in and out of the huddle, in and out, up and down, getting the ball snapped, guys knowing what to do so they can play fast, play confidently.
"We feel like if we do that, it doesn't matter who the defense is, that we can outplay them, out-execute them. You're obviously conscious of certain guys and situations and what does this team do on third down? What does this team do in the red zone? What does this team do in certain situations? But for the most part, we just focus on detailing our stuff."
Dallas' defense is allowing just 19.4 points per game, third best in the NFL, and no team has scored more than 28 points against the Cowboys this season.
"The Cowboys defense is playing just as well as any defense in the league," Saints head coach Sean Payton said. "We are going to have to be able to handle that, handle the noise and their front does a great job of getting on your edge and the movement they present and the challenges they present are difficult."
The Saints have produced the second-longest winning streak in franchise history. The only longer one came when the 2009 team started 13-0 on its way to winning New Orleans' only Super Bowl.
The Saints can clinch their second consecutive NFC South championship as soon as this weekend. If the Saints win and the Carolina Panthers lose, New Orleans will be assured of the division title.
Updated November 27, 2018