Player or system?: Jake Locker vs. Ryan Tannehill
Player or system?: Jake Locker vs. Ryan Tannehill
Friday September 26th, 2014

Nearly a year ago on Sunday Night Football the New Orleans Saints set an NFL record by converting 40 first downs in a 49-17 rout of the Dallas Cowboys at home. Now the Cowboys will try to return the favor at AT&T Stadium and beat the Saints for just the second time in 10 meetings as three-point home underdogs on Sunday night.

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Dallas has won its last two games on the road following a season-opening 28-17 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers as three-point underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by QB Tony Romo and RB DeMarco Murray have been key for the Cowboys, as both players were able to overcome mistakes en route to a win. Romo threw an early interception for a touchdown in a 34-31 victory against the St. Louis Rams last week, but he was able to rally Dallas back from a 21-0 deficit with two touchdown passes while Murray lost a fumble for the third straight game but totaled 100 rushing yards and one touchdown on the ground.

New Orleans got its first win of the season last week, beating the Minnesota Vikings 21-9 at home, and covered the spread as 9.5-point favorites after losing its first two games on the road as chalk both times. The Saints got 293 passing yards and two touchdowns in the victory from QB Drew Brees, who also had his way with the Cowboys last year with 392 yards and four touchdowns. Overall, Brees is 4-2 lifetime vs. Dallas, averaging nearly 347 yards per game with 16 touchdowns and just four picks. Since former Cowboys assistant coach Sean Payton took over as head coach of New Orleans in 2006, the team is 4-1 straight-up and 3-2 against the spread in the series. The Saints won big last year as six-point favorites, and they are 8-2 SU and ATS in the past 10 meetings dating back to 1994 according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

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Surprisingly, New Orleans have been a road favorite only once in their last 10 games against the Cowboys. The Saints failed to cover a 30-27 win at Dallas in 2010 as 4.5-point favorites and won as road dogs three other times during that stretch. The lone win for the Cowboys in the past nine meetings came in 2009 away from home.

This New Orleans vs. Dallas matchup does have a few trends favoring the host. The Saints are 0-6 ATS in their last six games as road favorites, and they are also just 1-4 SU in their past five under that scenario. In addition, the Cowboys are 3-1 ATS in their last four games as home underdogs.

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