6 Questions with The Saints Nation

Who’s ready for some Sunday Night Football? This weekend is going to really shape up the NFC East.  As of right now, the Cowboys are clinging onto their first place standing in the NFC East at 5-4, and the Redskins loss keeps them at 3-6. The Eagles will face a Roger-less Packers team, and could steal a win on the road, and the Giants host the Raiders. After this weekend the standings could very well tighten up for the Cowboys if the cannot win on the road in New Orleans. This is a huge game for Dallas, and if they can’t pull away from the rest of the East then we’re in trouble.

How many Cowboys fans feel good about going to New Orleans right now? I don’t and neither do the odds makers, we’re -6.5 underdog. Top tier QBs have torched us all year long, and now we face a daunting task on the road against Drew Brees & Co. If the Cowboys want to separate themselves from the past two 8-8 seasons they need to win the tough games, and they need to win on the road. This game will be a true litmus test, we’ll see if Garrett has prepared this team for battle, and it’ll test his game management skills once again, is Garrett progressing as our head coach?. Will DeMarcus Ware be relevant again, will he be a menace on defense or do we see the cracks in his game and his age define him moving forward. There are a lot of questions that will be answered after Sunday night.

For a closer look into the match-up against the Saints I sat down with The Saints Nation to get their commentary on the game:

CB: 1. Being familiar with Sean Payton’s offense, how do you think he’ll attack the Cowboys defense?

SN: That’s an interesting question because last week the Saints felt they could torch the Jets. Result? 53 passes, 13 runs, a few sacks, a couple turnovers and only 20 points. So I think Payton will watch the tape and see that the Cowboys are 31st overall against the pass and want to chuck it all over them all day long. But he’ll have to be careful and keep them honest by having a bit more balance than he did last week against the Jets. Particularly with DeMarcus Ware coming back, he can’t be in a position where he’s just rushing every down never worried about holding his block. That was a bad game on the road, though, and in the Dome this passing attack is deadly. I think he’ll try to have more balance but let’s be honest, his tendency is pass pass pass anyway. Against the 31st pass defense overall it’s going to be hard to temper than mindset.

2. On defense do you think there is an advantage on Rob Ryan’s side since he is familiar with the Cowboys offense, or do you think the Cowboys can exploit Ryan’s tendencies since they are familiar with him as well. How do you see this shaking out?

I think the advantage goes to the Saints because the Cowboys are a bit one dimensional offensively. It runs through Dez Bryant with Murray and Witten as the next in line to get relied on. Not that they are not extremely good, they are. Defense is about exotic blitz packages, creating different looks and confusing the play caller/signal caller. On offense, you can create all the looks you want everyone in the building still knows the ball is coming to Bryant or Witten. Add the crowd noise, one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL, and Ryan gains another advantage. But I think familiarity is overblown. Every year teams self scout, change tendencies, have new personnel… so every year it’s different.

3. If I’m Dallas, how do we beat the Saints, where are they the most vunerable, what has worked against the Saints in their two loses?

The Patriots stopped the Saints by shutting down Jimmy Graham. They are the only team that’s been able to do it by putting Aqib Talib on him all day. Talib is physical, fast and their best cover corner. I’m not sure if you have a player like that. The Jets just got a boatload of pressure on Brees. So Ware coming back is a big help I would thing, as long as he’s his normal self. On offense they have struggled to stop the run. I know Garrett called 54 passes and 9 rushes last week and that’s not going to fly. The Saints cover well and have a good pass rush. You’re going to have to commit to the run to have a chance.

4. What gives the Saints such a great home field advantage, is it the loudness, the rabid fans, or what do you think attributes to the Saints playing so well at home. They seem virtually unbeatable in the Super Dome?

It’s definitely the noise. I’ve been to a number of NFL stadiums (never Seattle) and my experience is the Dome is by far the loudest. National pundits agree. Part of that is the insane, diehard, drunk fans… and part of it is just the acoustics of a dome. But I also think this offense and team is built to play in perfect conditions. They pass so much and play a finesse type offense that works best when outside factors don’t disrupt timing etc…

5. Which player(s) would you say are flying under the radar for the Saints, but could have a big day against Dallas on Sunday night?

Kenny Stills, the rookie receiver, has hurt teams very badly by stretching the field. The dude is good. On defense, Junior Galette and Cameron Jordan aren’t household names but they rush the passer as well as anybody. Romo will have to look out for both. Rookie Kenny Vaccaro has been awesome too.

6. I think this will be a close game, do you have a final score prediction?

38-24 Saints. They’re pissed about the Jets game and they’re going to come back home on national TV and give their A game. Payton always has a trick up his sleeve for Dallas, too.

I want to thank The Saints Nation for doing this Q & A with us. Be sure to check them out at TheSaintsNation.com and on Twitter

Go Cowboys! #CowboysNation
CowboysBlog.Net has been online since August 23, 2003 and I've enjoyed every bit of my experience with the site. Our site was recognized in Sports Illustrated NFL Preview Edition on Sept. 4, 2006. Texas, USA. Enjoy the content. Join the conversation! Go Cowboys!

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