Saints vs. Cowboys: 10 Keys to the Game for Dallas

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Saints vs. Cowboys: 10 Keys to the Game for Dallas
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

At 8-6, the Dallas Cowboys are surging. They're tied for the division lead and thinking about a playoff berth.

Only two teams stand in the way of that goal—the biggest being a Week 17 showdown with division rival the Washington Redskins. But first, the Cowboys must topple, perhaps, an even tougher opponent, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

The Saints have had a rocky 2012 season, let alone calendar year, and sit at 6-8 as a result, eliminated from playoff contention.

However, they're still a remarkably tough opponent, as their offense keeps them in every game.

The Saints are coming off their biggest win of the year, a 41-0 pounding of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So, they enter the contest with the confidence and swagger that made them champions only a few years ago.

Dallas has a bit of momentum going for it as well. The Cowboys have won three straight, including their pair of last-minute wins against tough AFC North foes.

But in order for the Cowboys to continue their march they'll have to topple a prolific Saints offensive attack—a much different task from beating the defense-first Bengals and Steelers.

The game will take place in Arlington, so the Cowboys will have 80,000 rowdy fans behind them. And they will need all of them in order to best New Orleans.

Here are the 10 things Dallas must do to defeat the Saints on Sunday and continue to move towards the postseason.

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