After missing the first games of his career, DeMarcus Ware is finally expected to return to the field, and he could not have picked a better week. Everyone knows how deadly Drew Brees is and with Darren Sproles passing his concussion tests the Cowboys defense is going to need all the help they can get. Even if Ware plays in a limited role, having him out there on third down alone should have a significant impact on the game.
Just when Rob Marinelli’s defensive line looked like it might get a little healthy, Jason Hatcher and Nick Hayden both missed practiced and are expected to miss the game. Hatcher has been the second best defensive player on the team, after Sean Lee, and is leading the Cowboys with 7 sacks. DeMarcus Ware’s return becomes all the more significant as he and Selvie are going to have to get all the pressure on Brees or it’s going to be a very long game for the secondary. The secondary is still depleted as both J.J Wilcox and Morris Claiborne are expected to miss Sunday night’s game. A depleted Cowboys defense is going to have to step up and keep up with their bend but don’t break mentality. One can only hope to slow down Brees, but turnovers could be the difference in the game.
Dez Bryant gave all of Dallas Cowboys Nation a scare by missing practice earlier this week with back issues. Dez Bryant has come out and stated that he plans to play and Romo said he looked fine in his limited participation at practice. Dez Bryant is one of the most talented players in the league and with Drew Brees standing on the opposing sideline the Cowboys need Bryant to step up and have a big game. Even if Bryant is not 100% simply having him out on the field is sure to draw the attention of Rob Ryan’s defense and plenty of double teams. DeMarco Murray started last week, but was barely seen during the game.
There has been nothing to suggest that Murray is injured and we can hope to see him get a steady workload. Wide receiver has proven to be one of the deeper positions on the Cowboys roster and this luxury has given the Cowboys a chance to keep Austin on the sidelines until he’s 100%. Terrance Williams has become a solid number two, Beasley continues to get plenty of receptions and there’s also Dwayne Harris who caught the game winning touchdown last week. All of this makes the loss of Austin much less significant for the Cowboys.
The Bye week is coming up after the Saints game and that’s exactly what the doctor ordered for the Cowboys. The Cowboys have an opportunity that if they pull through with a win against the Saints they will be coming out of the bye two games above .500 as healthy as they’ve been all season with the beatable New York Giants and the Oakland Raiders next up on the schedule. I may be getting a little ahead of myself here, but a win against the Saints puts them in a great position to hold an 8-4 record, giving them a stranglehold on the NFC East.