Fleur-de-Links: December 20, 2012

Matthew Stockman

Your daily collection of New Orleans Saints news and opinion. Today's Headline: Pierre Thomas appears on Saints' injury report as 'limited' with knee injury. Zach Strief returns to practice as 'limited.'

Tweets:

RT : Hey, I'm heading 2 'Home for the Holidays' benefit tomorrow at House of Blues. C U there!

Saints, Cowboys Thursday Injury Report:

NBC Sports - ProFootballTalk: David Akers quits Twitter after death threat .... idiotic . Come on man.

Pierre Thomas has a knee injury according to the injury report. He was limited today.

Greg McMahon: "Nobody would be more tickled if (Thomas Morstead) made the Pro Bowl than myself."

After being placed on IR, says he will focus on helping the younger safeties fill his role (VIDEO)

practice report: OUT: FB Collins out. LIMITED: RBs Pierre Thomas, Ivory; OT Strief; CB Robinson. FULL: TE Graham.

Jimmy Graham practiced fully today, Ivory was limited

Vitt said it would have been pushing it for Malcolm Jenkins to play, didn't want to be a man short.

Thanking everyone for all the Happy b day wishes!! Happy holidays! I hope they are fill with joy, family, and a win vs Dallas!!!

Roman Harper finished 5th in fan Pro Bowl votes among NFC strong safeties with 67,873

Jimmy Graham finished 2nd in fan Pro Bowl votes among NFC TEs with 319,424. Tony Gonzales was No. 1 with 553,198

Top 5 NFC QBs in final Pro Bowl fan vote: 1. Rodgers, 2. RGIII, 3. Brees, 4. Ryan, 5. Eli

Drew Brees finished ninth overall in NFL Pro Bowl fan voting and third among NFC quarterbacks.

an amazing NFL streak likely ends this year. for the first time in 17 years looks like we won't have 5 new playoff teams from a year ago

punter Thomas Morstead was the NFC's top vote getter at punter with fan voting closed.

The 2013 Pro Bowl rosters will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 6 pm CT on

Tracy Porter forced to watch, and wait for another chance in Denver

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Saints prepare for Cowboys:

New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas added to injury report Thursday | NOLA.com
Fullback Jed Collins (knee/toe) missed practice for the second time. Tackle Zach Strief (ankle), who didn't practice Wednesday, was back at practice in a limited capacity. Running back Chris Ivory (hamstring) was limited for the second day, as was cornerback Patrick Robinson (groin).

Saints injury report grows with addition of RB Pierre Thomas | wwltv.com New Orleans
For Dallas, running back DeMarco Murray (foot) and linebacker Ernie Sims (concussion) went from not practicing to limited. Only defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (groin) didn’t practice for the Cowboys on Thursday.

Drew Brees Says New Orleans Saints Still Have A Lot to Play For
Brees talks about facing his hometown team

Joe Vitt Previews Dallas Cowboys Contest
Vitt gives first injury report and talks about how Dallas is playing as one of the best teams in the league

Brees has extra motivation against Cowboys
"I remember that Dallas heyday in the 90s with Troy (Aikman) and the guys," Brees said Wednesday during a conference call with reporters at Valley Ranch. "They used to have training camp down at St. Edward's University in Austin. I used to go watch them. So I was a fan of the Cowboys growing up.

Video: Saints-Cowboys preview - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Prim Siripipat goes inside the numbers for the New Orleans Saints-Dallas Cowboys matchup.

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Cowboys prepare for Saints:

SBRForum.com: Cowboys Look To Keep Playoff Hopes Alive Against New Orleans " sportsjabber.net | sportsjabber.net
It has been a roller coaster ride of a season for the Dallas Cowboys, who started the season poorly but have pulled it together to win four of their last five

Running The Numbers: Saints Pose Interesting Challenges

Meet the Saints: Brees Unafraid To Take Risks

Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Garrett and Tony Romo Preview New Orleans Saints Contest
Cowboys HC and QB talk about facing the Saints on Sunday

Dunbar’s Inspiring Story Has Ties To New Orleans And Texas

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Brees, Nick Saban, Miami, 2006:

Brees recalls being ‘poked and prodded’ in Miami, felt wanted in New Orleans | wwltv.com New Orleans
Drew Brees' courtship by the Miami Dolphins is being talked about once more as Miami media writes about Nick Saban. And Brees says everything ended up all right.

Drew Brees happy his 2006 free-agency period turned out the way it did | NOLA.com
Brees said Saints believed in him, while Dolphins were skeptical

Brees’ free-agent courtship worked out for him, Saban | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
METAIRIE — With his team preparing to play in Miami for the BCS Championship, Alabama coach Nick Saban took a trip down memory lane Tuesday…

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Saints visit Tulane's Walker:

Saints visit paralyzed Tulane football player
Drew Brees is impressed by the outlook of seriously injured Tulane safety Devon Walker.

Saints praise approach of Tulane's Walker | Colleges | The Sun Herald
METAIRIE, La. -- Drew Brees is impressed by the upbeat outlook of seriously injury Tulane safety Devon Walker and was pleased to be able to visit with him recently.

New Orleans Saints players recount their moving visit with Tulane's injured safety Devon Walker | NOLA.com
New Orleans Saints players discuss their memorable visit with injured Tulane safety Devon Walker a few weeks ago.

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Bountyfarce:

Saints Bounty Scandal named AP's No. 3 sports story of 2012
The off-field issues at Penn State, including the conviction of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and the stiff sanctions handed down by the NCAA, was voted the top story for the second consecutive year, with the Lance Armstrong saga coming in second.

Saints not fretting uncertainty over Sean Payton
METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Regardless of the allure the Dallas Cowboys or some other franchises might have for a coach a successful who commands top dollar, Drew Brees cannot envision Sean Payton coaching anywhere

Forecast: Without Sean Payton, Saints turned into road kill | wwltv.com New Orleans
As the 2012 Saints season enters the final two weeks, it's become clear the Saints miss Sean Payton the most when they are on the road.

Saints players not worried about Payton's future, believe he'll return | wwltv.com New Orleans
It was inevitable that, as Cowboys week began, focus would shift at some point to the possibility of Sean Payton taking over in Dallas should certain situations come to fruition.

Sean Payton's coaching future remains a hot topic | NOLA.com
With Cowboys game coming up talk of Payton leaving Saints heats up

Sean Payton talk not at all worrisome to players | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
METAIRIE — Sunday’s game with the Dallas Cowboys has caused many a New Orleans Saints fan to shudder this week, and it’s not because they’r…

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Lagniappe:

Drew Brees Fan Robs Baton Rouge Auto Zone At 5:21 P.M. Like It Ain’t No Thang

Rob Parker will return to ESPN after 30-day ban for RG3 remarks | ProFootballTalk
ESPN has announced that Rob Parker will be allowed to return to the air after a 30-day suspension for questioning whether Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is authentically black because, among other things, Griffin has a white fiancee.

Peyton Manning gets most Pro Bowl votes | ProFootballTalk
Peyton Manning is one third of the way to getting lei'd. Again. Pro Bowl balloting has closed at NFL.com, and the Broncos quarterback has secured the most votes.

Saints rookie Hicks proving he more than belongs in NFL | wwltv.com New Orleans
When it was announced during April’s draft that the Saints were taking defensive tackle Akiem Hicks with their third-round pick, there was some head-scratching taking place.

New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins says shutting his season down was smart decision | NOLA.com

Jenkins said the best-case scenario for the hamstring injury he sustained in the Week 14 loss to the New York Giants would have been to try to squeeze his way back into the Saints' final regular-season game against Carolina. Jenkins and the Saints decided to shut the safety down until next year instead.

Former LSU standout Chad Jones hopes to schedule workout with the New Orleans Saints | NOLA.com
Standout safety continues comeback from serious auto accident in 2010.

LSU graduate and NFL agent Albert Elias dead at 42 | NOLA.com
The Louisiana native represented several former LSU players in the NFL.

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