We’ll continue a series of opponent preview posts for the New Orleans Saints opponents in 2019. Next, we’ll look at a highly intriguing primetime matchup: the Dallas Cowboys in the Dome on Sunday Night Football. Our friends over at Blogging the Boys took some time to give us Saints fans the scoop on neighbors from a state over.
Week 4: vs the Dallas Cowboys
Notable free agent additions:
TE Jason WItten, WR Randall Cobb, DE Robert Quinn (trade), DE Kerry Hyder, DT Christian Covington, S George Iloka
9 wins -- Over. The Cowboys won 10 games last year and they have a better roster this year. They shook up their offensive coaching staff and they will now have Amari Cooper for a full offseason to get better acclimated with the offense and develop chemistry with Dak Prescott. They do face a harder schedule after winning the NFC East in 2018, but the increased talent, players like Jason Witten and Travis Frederick are returning, should help offset that.
Most exciting rookie:
Tony Pollard. The Cowboys offense was a bit stale last year, and they didn’t really have a quality “gadget” player that a lot of teams employ nowadays. Pollard is a running back but he is equally comfortable lining up as a receiver and making plays. He’s fast and elusive, he should be able to give Ezekiel Elliott some rest, and the Cowboys can use him in a variety of ways to keep defenses guessing. He’s more representative of the modern NFL players like Alvin Kamara. Defensive tackle Trysten Hill is the second choice here, as he looks like he has some special traits, but will they transfer to the NFL?
Position battle to keep an eye on:
Jeff Heath has been one of the starting safeties, but has underwhelmed in most observers eyes. The Cowboys signed George Iloka and drafted Donovan WIlson, both will be trying to unseat Heath at safety. There is also a massive logjam at receiver behind the starters (Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb), how the depth shakes out at that position should be fun to watch in camp. There is also a huge battle going on along the defensive line after you get past a few of the starters like DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp:
Can new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore revitalize the Cowboys offense? Moore has gone from Cowboys backup QB, to Cowboys quarterback coach, to new Cowboys offensive coordinator in a few short years. The Cowboys offense grew stale under Scott Linehan who was let go after the season. Moore is charged with taking the current scheme, and adding some of the newer elements of NFL offenses that move players around, incorporate spread elements from college, and use pre-snap motion to keep defenses unbalanced. How successful Moore is in accomplishing that could be the biggest factor in how successful Dallas is in 2019.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into camp:
The Cowboys have no depth at QB. Dak Prescott has been remarkably durable in his first three years and the Cowboys are counting on that continuing because they have done nothing to strengthen their backup QB situation.Third-year player Cooper Rush (UDFA) and second-year player Mike White (fifth-round pick) are the only other QBs on the roster and neither have any real experience in NFL games.
Notable injuries heading into training camp:
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is recovering from shoulder surgery and his availability to start the season is questionable. The same is true for cornerback Byron Jones except his problem is with his hip. Both players are key parts of the much-improved Dallas defense. The Cowboys are also waiting to see how much Travis Frederick has recovered after sitting out last season due to Guillain-Barre Syndrome, although they are very optimistic.
Obscure player on the 90-man roster that will be a preseason star (and likely later cut):
Let’s go with receiver Reggie Davis. He’s a speedster that has received a lot of praise in OTAs and minicamp. He’s likely to get ample playing time in the preseason and his speed may lead to a few spectacular plays in that time. But the Cowboys are noted for keeping veterans, and they have quite a few of those in the mix at backup receiver. They may try to get Davis to the practice squad.
This game could have wide-reaching playoff implications considering the Cowboys have dreams of winning the NFC East.
So what says you, you unbiased Saints fans? Can the Saints get a little bit of payback on the team that upset them last year? Vote in the poll. Explain in the comments. And make sure you also check out DraftDividends.com, a website for a new book I’m writing currently titled Draft Picks and Dividends: A Fantasy Football Player’s Guide to Understanding the Stock Market.
How will the Saints fare against the Cowboys?
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