Saints vs. Cowboys: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IDecember 21, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 18:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Cleveland Browns at Cowboys Stadium on November 18, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Believe it or not, the New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys contest features two playoff bubble teams.

Despite starting the season 0-4 losing three of their last five games, New Orleans is somehow, someway still mathematically alive in the playoffs. Numbers never were my thing.

Dallas will look to eliminate the Saints and, on the outside looking in, work its way toward securing a spot itself.

Here’s everything you need to know about this Week 16 matchup.

Where: Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas

When: Sunday, December 23 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Watch: FOX, DIRECTV: 705, NFL Redzone or online at Game Rewind

Listen: Sirius XM Radio: 92 or online at Audio Pass 

Spread: Dallas -3, according to Odds Shark

Despite their record of 8-6, the Cowboys actually have negative net points this season. That means they lose by more points than they win. And that isn’t the type of team to bet they’d cover a spread of over -2.5.

Over/Under: 51, according to Odds Shark

New Orleans and Dallas average a combined 51.1 points per game. Their defenses also surrender a combined 51.5 points per game.

Something about those numbers just screams to take the over.

Injury Report (via ESPN: NO/DAL, as of Thursday, December 20)

New Orleans RB Pierre Thomas is questionable with a knee injury.

New Orleans RB Chris Ivory is questionable with a hamstring.

New Orleans RB Jimmy Graham is probable with a wrist injury.

New Orleans CB Corey White was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Dallas LB DeMarcus Ware is questionable with an elbow injury.

Dallas RB DeMarco Murray is probable with a foot injury.

Dallas RB Felix Jones is probable with a knee injury.

Dallas WR Dez Bryant is probable with a finger injury.

Dallas LB Ernie Sims is questionable with a concussion.

Dallas CB Morris Claiborne is questionable with a concussion.

Dallas NT Jay Ratliff is questionable with a groin injury.

Fantasy Big Plays

New Orleans: RB Mark Ingram

An injured Pierre Thomas means more carries for Ingram, who rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown last week. That was the first time he rushed for at least 70 yards this season, but he hadn’t received more than 16 carries in a single game either. With Thomas potentially unable to suit up, a 20-carry outing becomes a possibility.

Dallas: WR Dez Bryant

Fractured finger? Such an injury is no big deal for Bryant who caught a touchdown in his sixth straight game this past Sunday.

Against the Saints’ 31st-ranked pass defense, it’d be a surprise if he didn’t extend the streak to seven games.

Keys to a New Orleans Win

Drew Brees is capable of putting the Saints on his back and carrying them to victory, and that’s exactly what he must do against the Cowboys. New Orleans defense is such a liability that, against a quality team, a shootout is the Saints’ most realistic way to win a football game.

Keys to a Dallas Win

Tony Romo must continue to play smart football. He doesn’t necessarily have to match Brees’ numbers. In fact, he won’t match Brees’ numbers.

But as long as he protects the football and gets Bryant and Jason Witten their touches, he’ll have done his job.


New Orleans will enter the contest hot after smoking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by the score of 41-0. Dallas will enter hotter, though, having won five of its last six games.

Big D’s defense will make the difference.

Dallas, 28-27

David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.


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