In case you missed it in our New Orleans Saints vs Denver Broncos preview, we already know the Saints 2024 opponents. One of those opponents are the Dallas Cowboys, the No. 2 seed in the 2023-24 NFC Playoffs this year.
The Cowboys are going to be an intriguing team in 2024. Dak Prescott will be in a contract year with his deal expiring after the 2024 season, Mike McCarthy could be gone if the Cowboys are an early exit in this year's playoffs, and they may also lose defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to the Seahawks for their open head coaching vacancy.
The Cowboys are also projected to be in the red in 2024, meaning they’re going to have to move some money around in order to retain some key free agents such as Tyron Smith, Stephon Gilmore, Tony Pollard and Jayron Kearse.
Needless to say, this is a Cowboys team that could look a lot different in 2024 or they could look exactly the same. They’ll be a very interesting team to watch in the offseason depending on their playoff performance.
For the sake of this article, let’s say the Cowboys at least make the NFC Championship game and retain McCarthy. If they feel their roster is in a good spot and could make another run at the Super Bowl, they’ll find ways to move money around and retain at least some of their free agents.
Traveling to Jerry’s World and facing off with the Cowboys will be a tall task for the Saints in 2024. The Cowboys are coming off three straight 12-5 seasons (and potentially even a Super Bowl, though they seem to choke every year so we’ll see) and should have their core back.
In 2023, the Cowboys went 8-0 at home in the regular season and should be one of the better home teams again next year. The Cowboys faithful pack AT&T Stadium week in and week out, and if they can replicate their success from the last three seasons again, it will no doubt be a tough environment.
On the flip side, the Saints were 4-5 on the road this season and are 7-10 on the road with Dennis Allen as their head coach. DA is likely to return in 2024, and while the Saints should be slightly improved, I don’t know if they have the talent and the coaching to overcome a better team on the road.
The Cowboys will also likely boast one of the better offenses in the NFL just like they have in many of the years past. The Saints finished 2023 with a top-10 defense but will likely lose some key pieces either in free agency (Isaac Yiadom, Zach Baun, Malcom Roach) or through trades to get under the cap (Marshon Lattimore is a name that’s been discussed).
On the other side of the ball, the Saints offense, led by Derek Carr, started to find their stride at the end of the 2023 season. They’ll face a likely top-10 defense in the Cowboys on the road, and to be honest, I don’t think they’ll have much success. The Cowboys allowed just five teams to score 20+ points on them last season, and if Pete Carmichael does return (there’s been some talks after the offense found their footing late), then I really don’t see a way they score 20+ on them.
Overall, I think this is a bad matchup for the Saints. They don’t have the coaching or firepower to keep up with the best teams in the league, and I think the Cowboys will be in the upper echelon of teams again in 2024.