They are beginning to think playoffs in Big D. They've been thinking Super Bowl for weeks in the Big Easy.
On Thursday night, the Cowboys host the Saints in, well, a big game.
New Orleans (10-1) has looked like the NFL's best, even as it sits tied with the Rams for the league's top record; the Saints handed Los Angeles its only defeat. Not only is the offense dynamic and Drew Brees is having the most proficient season of his spectacular career, but the defense appears more solid than any other Super Bowl threat.
"Early in the year, they gave up some points and yards and things like that, but you just really look at them in their last I guess three or four ballgames," Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan says. "They're just really doing a good job of getting stops and creating negative plays for the other team, whether it be sacks or turnovers.
"We've got a big challenge."
And he's talking about the New Orleans D!
The Dallas defense has been pretty darn good for much of the season, particularly recently. That's as much a reason as any that the Cowboys (6-5) have taken over the NFC East lead.
But they need to show a lot more to reach the Saints' level.
"We have all the confidence in ourselves," quarterback Dak Prescott says. "They put on their pants the same way we do. They've won 10, and I guess we've won three (in a row).
It will be 11 for the Saints, unanimously top-ranked in the AP Pro32. They are 7½-point favorites over No. 12 Dallas.
Dallas did the job on Thanksgiving, and as Pro Picks heads into December, time to go with rejuvenated SEATTLE.
No. 25 Buffalo (plus 5 1-2) at No. 21 Miami
Bills on upswing. It ends in South Florida.
BEST BET: DOLPHINS, 27-16
No. 13 Baltimore (minus 1 1-2) at No. 22 Atlanta
Ravens haven't hit road in a month.
UPSET SPECIAL: FALCONS, 29-26
No. 16 Denver (minus 4) at No. 24 Cincinnati
So many road favorites this week. We favor Broncos among them.
No. 2 Los Angeles Rams (minus 10) at No. 23 Detroit
So many road favorites this week. We definitely favor Rams.
No. 5 Chicago (minus 4) at No. 27 New York Giants
So many road favorites — enough already.
No. 15 Washington (plus 6 1-2) at No. 17 Philadelphia, Monday night
Two injury-plagued teams trying to keep up with Dallas.
No. 32 Arizona (plus 14 1-2) at No. 19 Green Bay
Not sure Packers should be favored by this much over U of Arizona.
No. 3 Kansas City (minus 15) at No. 31 Oakland
Remember when this was one of the NFL's great rivalries?
No. 30 San Francisco (plus 10) at No. 10 Seattle
Wasn't too long ago this was a great NFL rivalry, too.
No. 6 Los Angeles Chargers (plus 3 1-2) at No. 8 Pittsburgh
Steelers don't do anything easily. Maybe Philip Rivers will be perfect.
No. 14 Carolina (minus 3 1-2) at No. 26 Tampa Bay
If Panthers don't snap out of funk soon, wild-card playoff spot will disappear.
No. 11 Indianapolis (minus 4) at No. 28 Jacksonville
Suddenly, Andrew Luck and Colts look like postseason-bound team.
No. 20 Cleveland (plus 6) at No. 7 Houston
Texans won't win out, but won't lose this one.
No. 9 Minnesota (plus 6) at No. 4 New England
Patriots might win out, won't lose this one.
No. 29 New York Jets (plus 9 1-2) at No. 18 Tennessee
Titans are an enigma. Slumping Jets are not.
Last Week: Against spread (9-4-1). Straight up (12-3)
Season Totals: Against spread (87-77-7). Straight up: (118-56-2)
Best Bet: 4-8 against spread, 8-4 straight up
Upset special: 8-4 against spread, 7-4-1 straight up
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