IRVING, Texas –The Cowboys are right in the middle of the NFC playoff picture, knowing they can win the NFC East by claiming two more victories.
Getting a Wild Card spot is possible, but more of a long shot for the Cowboys, who have won three straight games and five of six to claw back from a 3-5 record at the midway point, to now 8-6.
The Saints have been just as surprising this year, starting 0-4 before clawing back to 6-8.
Here are the gut feelings for staff writers Nick Eatman, Bryan Broaddus and Rowan Kavner.
Rowan: If the Saints were in your weekly pick 'em contest, you'd want to avoid them at all costs. Predicting which Saints team shows up every week is nearly impossible. Two weeks ago, the Saints allowed 52 points to a Giants team that was held scoreless a week later. Then the Saints played Tampa Bay and held the Bucs scoreless. The Cowboys secondary may not be able to hang with all the weapons, but I don't trust this inconsistent Saints squad to win two in a row. The Cowboys should be able to keep the season alive by coming up with one or two stops by pressuring Drew Brees, putting themselves closer to a division title.
Bryan:I will be interested to see how Rob Ryan plays these Saints skill players. He has the numbers to matchup with the Saints personnel but can he get the level of play that he will need to make some stops in this game? My gut feeling is that Sterling Moore will be a big facture in this game. I have talked about him a bunch this week because I feel like he can make a difference in the game with his ability to react and cover. I believe that Ryan will use Moore potentially a couple of different ways because he doesn't have linebackers that can cover in this game. This game is going to come down to which defense can get extra stops and with that being said, my gut tells me that the Cowboys will be able to make more.
Nick: I actually haven't been that good here with the gut. I don't feel bad for not understanding this team that well. It's been an up-and-down year for a while but the Cowboys have just started to show that long-awaited consistency. As powerful as the Saints' offense can be, you have to remember they're 6-8 for a reason. Yes, they can score. But they've had to. Their defense has been atrocious at best, even despite a surprising shutout last week against Tampa Bay. I see the Cowboys scoring a lot of points in a wild shootout game. Somehow, I think they find a way to stop Drew Brees just enough to get the win.