The Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints get Week 13 started in the Big Easy on Thursday Night Football. There are some unknowns for the Cowboys going to New Orleans.
We know that Mike McCarthy will not be the head coach on Thursday night after testing positive for Covid-19. He is working with the team remotely, but will not be travelling to New Orleans.
Dan Quinn is the most likely second option for the coach on Thursday night. We also know that CeeDee Lamb is going to play at the Caesars Superdome in this one.
#Cowboys WR Amari Cooper still has lingering symptoms (cough) from COVID-19 and is yet to be activated off the COVID list. HC Mike McCarthy says his gut feeling is that if Cooper can’t practice tomorrow, then he likely won’t be available for Thursday night's game vs. New Orleans.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 30, 2021
Will Amari Cooper play? The plan was for Cooper to return this week, but he has lingering Covid-19 symptoms. His status is unclear. They will be without starting right tackle Terence Steele after testing positive for Covid-19.
The biggest unknowns for the Cowboys might be if any key players test positive for Covid-19 before kick-off on Thursday night. The virus seems to be going around in the Cowboys’ locker room, so we’ll have to see.
There are currently eight players on the Covid list for the Cowboys. After an ugly performance last week on Thanksgiving in a 36-33 loss against the Dallas Cowboys, they can’t afford any more positive tests.
When the Cowboys are healthy and everyone is on the field, they are obviously a very good team. However, that isn’t the case at the moment, though getting Lamb back is certainly welcome for Dak Prescott.
It doesn’t really matter what the offense does if the Cowboys’ secondary continues to get beat and commit penalties. They just kept handing Derek Carr free first downs on a silver platter.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 29, 2021
It’s unclear whether we’re going to see Trevor Siemian or Taysom Hill on Thursday night, but it’s pointing to Hill. Sean Payton not revealing who is starting certainly works in their favor, though. Head below for our free Cowboys vs. Saints pick on December 2, 2021.
Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints Live Odds and Betting History:
The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:
|Dallas Cowboys||-4.5 (-110)||-210||Over 47.5 (-110)|
|New Orleans Saints||+4.5 (-110)||+175||Under 47.5 (-110)|
|Team Data||Dallas Cowboys||New Orleans Saints|
|Points Per Game||29.6||23.4|
|Points Against Per Game||22.7||22.6|
|Passing Yards Per Game||292.4||198.4|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||127.5||111.2|
Cowboys vs. Saints Prediction:
The word on the street is that Sean Payton is going to give the starting nod to Taysom Hill under center on Thursday night. The Saints need some kind of a spark, and I think it wouldn’t be a bad move going to Hill.
The Cowboys will be forced to prepare for Siemian and Hill going into Thursday. It’s no secret why Payton isn’t going to reveal who is starting, though Hill was taking first-team reps this week in practice.
He is making the Cowboys’ defense have to prepare for both quarterbacks. Hill is not an easy quarterback to prepare for to begin with. He is a bit of a hybrid quarterback as a runner and passer.
Hill can also be used in gadget plays, which was one of his primary roles when Drew Brees was the starting quarterback. He filled in reasonably well last season as the backup to Brees.
Hill appeared in 16 games last season in varying roles, passing for 928 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions on 72.7% completions.
His biggest contribution was running on the ground with 457 yards and 8 touchdowns on 5.3 yards per carry. If there isn’t anything open, Hill has the wheels to take off and run.
Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Trends:
- 5-2 ATS in their previous seven games as a favorite
- 4-1 ATS in their previous five games on the road
- 4-9 ATS in their previous 13 games after failing to cover the spread
- 3-7 ATS in their previous games in Week 13
- 1-4 ATS in their previous five games on a Thursday
- 6-1 ATS in their previous seven games after failing to cover the spread
- 8-3 ATS in their previous 11 games as an underdog at the Caesars Superdome
- 25-9 ATS in their previous 34 games as an underdog
- 5-2 ATS in their previous seven games in December
- 6-0 ATS in their previous six games after scoring less than 15 points
The Saints need some energy on offense. They aren’t going to get that from Trevor Siemian, and I think Hill is capable of doing the complete opposite. This offense should look more dynamic with him on the field.
Now the defense has to worry about Hill scrambling, which is something Siemian isn’t the best at doing. There is also a chance that Hill is going to have Alvin Kamara in the backfield.
Kamara returned to practice this week on a limited basis. His status is currently listed as questionable to play on Thursday night.
The Dallas secondary has looked confused recently. This could be the perfect spot in primetime at home for Hill to take the starting job and run with it.
Anthony Brown's fourth DPI penalty of the game ?pic.twitter.com/ZnjmKUQwja
— PFF (@PFF) November 26, 2021
The Cowboys are 27th in the NFL with 262.3 yards allowed per game. They’ve given up a total of 369.5 yards per game for 26th in the NFL.
Conversely, the Saints should do a solid job on Zeke and Tony Pollard. They are third in the NFL with 91.9 yards allowed per game. Looking to avoid a five-game losing streak, the defense should get up for this one.
Note that Payton has never gone on a five-game losing streak in New Orleans. The Saints haven’t lost five straight games since before the Payton era. Jim Haslett coached some bad Saints teams.
Yeah, if you want to play the Cowboys, I’m not going to argue, but there’s something saying that Taysom is going to scramble the Saints to a possible win on Thursday night. He’s waited a long time for this opportunity, and I see him running with it at home.