NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - After the Cowboys' loss to the Falcons, the Dallas defense was criticized for "no takeaways, can't stop the run, don't get a pass rush." The same lament could be said of the Saints.
Offensively last week the Cowboys and the Saints each played back-up quarterbacks who compiled nearly identical statistics with similar results -each losing.
Both Brandon Weeden and Luke McCown executed conservative, short-passing offenses that stressed ball control at the expense of pushing the ball downfield. And both Weeden and McCown suffered their only turnovers when they did.
Will the Dallas attack be the same with the same quarterback? Will the Saints' attack be different with a different one if Drew Brees can return to the lineup?
Or will the Saints' offensive game plan continue to rely on the short-to-intermediate passing game it displayed in the first two losses of the season with Brees under center? Especially if his arm strength hasn't fully returned since his shoulder injury?
It's close to a year since the Saints won a home game of any description. Six losses in a row in the regular season. And there is no trepidation for the Cowboys being in enemy territory. Dallas has won 10 straight on the road.
Last year on Sunday night football the Cowboys, playing in Dallas, opened up a 24-0 lead at halftime on the Saints on their way to a 38-17 win. A similar start by Dallas - who jumped on Atlanta 14-0 last week on their way to a 28-14 first half lead - against the Saints would be difficult to overcome for a Saints offense that's averaging 18 points per game in an 0 and 3 start.
Dallas will be treading water until they get Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and other regulars back in the lineup. A victory for the Saints wouldn't resuscitate the season, but it would breathe some life into it.