New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys: Why Playing for Pride Isn't Logical
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The New Orleans Saints travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in what will be an utterly meaningless game for their franchises this week. While you can expect plenty of pregame analysis to focus on the "playing for pride" angle, the reality is that a Saints win would only set the franchise back.
The Saints' defense is in desperate need of new, young talent. The kind that good teams find in the NFL Draft. They need to be picking as high as possible.
No one is going to remember a win in Dallas in December of 2012 when April of 2013 rolls around. The focus will be on the future and how the draft can help that future.
Many of the players on the current Saints defensive roster will be gone next year. That's just life in the NFL for players on historically-poor units. A win in Dallas wont save their jobs.
It's also unclear who among the coaching staff will return. Rumors abound that Sean Payton could be stolen by Jerry Jones if Dallas crumbles at the finish and he decides the Jason Garrett era must end. Payton has a longstanding relationship with the Cowboys, having coached their offense prior to leaving for New Orleans.
It's possible, therefore, that a Saints win this Sunday could lead to many, many more losses next year. If Jones lures Payton to Dallas—where he already owns an estate, by the way—the odds of the Saints finding a better coach for next year are remote, at best.
Super Bowl-winning coaches are a rare commodity.
Add to that disaster the fact that they would drop several positions in the drafting order, and suddenly "playing for pride" seems like a pretty foolish idea.
Hopefully, for the Saints' sake, the players understand all of this. After all, they aren't going to the postseason. They have two games left on their schedule and then it's time to jet to a tropical resort and get some much needed R&R.
It would be far more logical to make a respectable effort for two more games, but keep the powder dry and live to fight another day—with better draft picks and a Super Bowl-winning coach.
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