Sunday, December 23, 2012
How you feeling? Cowboys-Saints
By Dan Graziano
As the Dallas Cowboys prepare to host the New Orleans Saints at 1 p.m. ET (Noon CT) Sunday, here's one reason for Cowboys fans to feel good about the game and one reason for concern.
Feeling good: After two straight weeks of scrapping for points against tough Cincinnati and Pittsburgh defenses, the Cowboys get a crack at the worst defense in the league. The Saints are 31st in the NFL in run defense, 31st in pass defense and 32nd overall. They did shut out Tampa Bay last week, but that Buccaneers team has lost four in a row, was coming off a loss to the Eagles and appears to be out of gas. The Cowboys should be able to run the ball effectively with DeMarco Murray today, and Tony Romo should have time to find Dez Bryant and the rest of his receivers in the passing game. If there was ever a week in which to expect the Cowboys' offense to appear in sync from the start, it's this week.
Cause for concern: If there's a cause for concern in Dallas these days, it's that the Cowboys' injury-ravaged defense will fall apart one of these weeks. Hasn't happened yet, but Drew Brees and the Saints still can make life miserable for a defense. Dallas needs to make sure Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr get those wide receivers covered, and somebody in the linebacking corps has to come up with an answer for big, athletic tight end Jimmy Graham.