The early lines for Cowboys at Saints had the Saints as -7 favorites over the Cowboys. But with the uncertainty over Drew Brees' playing status, there aren't many sportsbooks offering a line for the game at the moment. Right now, CG Technologies is the only sportsbook posting a line, and they have the Saints as -4 favorites, but that line could quickly change with more clarity on Brees' injury status.
Be that as it may, the recent betting trends favor the Cowboys in this game. New Orleans is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games at home, while Dallas is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road. But those five Cowboys games were with Tony Romo under center. Brandon Weeden is 0-9 ATS in his last nine starts, which adds a very different perspective to Sunday's game.
If the Cowboys want to win, they'll have to get their ground game going in New Orleans. The Saints have the 26th-ranked run defense, allowing 126 yards per game so far this year, which should be a plus for the Cowboys running game, where the underrated Joseph Randle has quietly run for at least 50 yards in each of the first three games, one of just four running backs to do so this year (the others: Matt Forte, Melvin Gordon, Jonathan Stewart).
But even if the line currently favors the Cowboys, our panel of experts likes the Cowboys for the win on Sunday:
|Name (Cowboys Accuracy)
Sam Farmer, LA Times (2-1)
||35-20||DeMarco Murray has to miss that Cowboys line, which is now pushing open big holes for Joseph Randle. Brandon Weeden isn't bad when he has time. The Saints are in a downward spiral.|
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk (2-1)
||31-24||The Saints played well against the Panthers, and the Saints have their backs pressed firmly against the wall, with America watching. And I’m tempted to pick the Saints to pull this one off. But Brandon Weeden wasn’t horrible against the Falcons, and it’s still not clear how healthy Drew Brees will be, even if he plays. If the Cowboys stick with what worked against the Falcons and bottle up whoever is carrying the ball, this should be a win.|
Michael Smith, Pro Football Talk (2-1)
||28-24||Surprisingly, Brandon Weeden and Luke McCown were both fine in place of the injured Tony Romo and Drew Brees last week. So when these two teams meet on Sunday night, I think it will be less about the quarterbacks and more about the defenses. The Saints’ defense has been a disaster this year, so I like the Cowboys to win.|
David Steele, Sporting News (2-1)
||27-13||How sexy did this quarterback matchup look when the schedule came out: Tony Romo against Drew Brees? Instead, America gets Brandon Weeden and maybe Luke McCown. Brees still thinks he'll give it a go. The Saints right now, though, aren't up to taking advantage of the Cowboys missing Romo and Dez Bryant.|
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com (2-1)
||28-26||Regardless of who plays quarterback for New Orleans, the Cowboys must make him uncomfortable in the pocket, especially if it's Drew Brees, who hadn't been playing to a Brees-esque level before missing last week with a rotator-cuff injury. By blitzing more than usual, Dallas will force Brees to release more quickly. The key for the Saints will be for running back Mark Ingram to keep the Dallas front seven from forgetting about the run and freely sprinting into the pocket. Oh, and no more fumbles in the fourth quarter, either.|
Peter Schrager, Foxsports (1-2)
||31-21||The Saints' salary cap situation is insane. And not in a good way. Jimmy Graham, Junior Galette, Curtis Lofton, and Ben Grubbs -- all playing elsewhere this year -- make up $26 million in dead money against the salary cap. That's wild. The Cowboys competed last week with a group that was still getting comfortable. Brees or not, I like the 'Boys on Sunday night.|
Greg Cote, Miami Herald (1-2)
||31-27||Slim Week 4 pickings for the Game of the Week committee. One team is missing stars Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, and the other team is winless. Nevertheless, this should be a game that keeps NFL RedZone busy — an entertaining pointfest that lives up to the prime-time stage. Yes, the Superdome has stopped being a sanctuary; N’Awlins has lost six in a row at home. But that’s a trend fit to end. Saints get Drew Brees back Sunday and that should be enough to carry them off the schneid. Point spread’s too big, though.|
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports (1-2)
||24-13||This could be a battle of two backups in Luke McCown vs. Brandon Weeden. There is a chance Drew Brees could play as it looks like he will get work in practice. He's a tough guy, and I think he plays. The Saints are in desperation mode and they play like it here.|
Now on to our customary look at some additional pick 'em panels, who like the Cowboys by a factor of almost 2-to-1. Note that the last column in the table shows how accurate these panels were in correctly predicting the correct outcome of the first three Cowboys games this year. Not a lot of accuracy here, but could improve with a Cowboys win on Sunday.
|SB Nation||4||3||.714 (15-6)|
|NFL Around The League||1||4||.625 (10-6)|
|Dallas Morning News||6||4||.548 (17-14)|
|Bleacher Report||4||4||.600 (15-10)|
|USA Today||4||3||.476 (10-11)|
What do you think it will take for the Cowboys to win on Sunday?