The Dallas Cowboys play their second straight Thursday game when it hosts the Saints at AT&T Stadium this week. New Orleans (10-1) has won 10 straight since losing 48-40 to Tampa Bay in the season opener.
The Cowboys have created some momentum of their own in rebounding from a 3-5 record through the first eight games. Dallas’ road wins over Philadelphia and Atlanta and the Thanksgiving Day victory over Washington pulled the Cowboys even with the Redskins atop the NFC East.
Part of the reason for the Cowboys’ resurgence has been the success of wide receiver Amari Cooper. Dallas traded a first-round draft pick to the Raiders for Cooper in October. His impact on the Cowboys’ offense was noticeable even when his catches and yards were that of a role player.
On Thursday, Cooper broke out with eight catches for 180 yards and two TDs.
“I think those guys have worked hard individually to get themselves to a certain level and then I think they’ve worked really hard together,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said on Sunday. “They both have a really good feel for playing their position.”
Of course, the Saints have a pretty decent passing game themselves.
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is currently fifth in the NFL with 3,135 passing yards this season. He has 29 touchdown passes and just two interceptions.
“He’s playing awfully well right now,” Garrett said. “But he’s played awfully well for the last 15 years. He’s outstanding. There’s really nothing on the field that he can’t do.”
On the injury front, Garrett said he expected defensive lineman Taco Charlton to practice and hoped offensive lineman Tyron Smith would be able to as well.
–RB Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL in rushing with 1,074 yards after producing with three straight 100-yard games. Elliott had some hip soreness after the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day win over Washington.
–QB Dak Prescott has benefited from the trade for Amari Cooper. In the four games since Cooper’s arrival, Prescott has completed 70 percent of his passes for 767 yards with five touchdowns and only one interception.
–WR Amari Cooper had eight catches for 180 yards and two scores Thursday against the Redskins. His touchdown catches went for 40 and 90 yards in the Thanksgiving victory.
–LG Xavier Su’a-Filo, who started the past three games, hurt his ankle against Washington but is expected to practice.
–RG Zack Martin has been playing with a sprained knee the last few weeks.