Saints vs Cowboys Draws Best Overnight Rating in Thursday Night Football History

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2018

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 29:  Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys runs for a first down in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at AT&T Stadium on November 29, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys' 13-10 victory over the New Orleans Saints to kick off Week 13 drew the highest overnight rating in Thursday Night Football history, according to The Athletic's Richard Deitsch.

Per Deitsch, Fox revealed the battle between the pair of NFC division leaders drew a 14.6 overnight rating.

That's great news for Fox, which earned the rights to Thursday Night Football earlier this year after bidding more than $660 million per year, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell.

Thursday Night Football has received criticism through the years for the lack of compelling matchups. This year's slate has been solid though, with this game featuring arguably the best competition to date. 

New Orleans entered Week 13 on a 10-game winning streak and tied for the best record in the NFL at 10-1. And with Drew Brees leading the high-scoring offense, the Saints had the front-runner for the league MVP award.

Meanwhile, Dallas has caught fire since acquiring receiver Amari Cooper last month, having now won four of its last five games. Not to mention the fact that Ezekiel Elliott had rushed for 120-plus yards in three straight games prior to Thursday night. As a result, the Cowboys have climbed atop the NFC East standings. 

And of course, "America's Team" is always ratings gold.

Fox also lucked out that the game stayed close throughout the duration. Dallas jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first half, but Brees and Co. were able to fight back and draw within a field goal by the end of the third. With a one-score game throughout the fourth quarter, fans had every reason to stay tuned in.

With one month remaining in the 2018 regular season, Fox still has a number of opportunities to put up big numbers. Next week's matchup features the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans, while Week 15 will pit the 9-2 Kansas City Chiefs against the 8-3 Los Angeles Chargers in a clash that could decide the AFC West.