Brian Allee-Walsh

The Saints walked into the Cowboys’ trap in 2009. Is that possible on Thursday?

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will look to avoid the fate of the 2009 Saints against the Cowboys.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will look to avoid the fate of the 2009 Saints against the Cowboys. Star-Telegram file

Not long ago, FOX NFL analyst/Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman climbed out on a reed-thin limb and shockingly suggested hands-on owner Jerry Jones should blow up his floundering Dallas Cowboys.

Mighty bold bluster coming from the Cowboys legend who earned his spurs leading “America’s Team’‘ to three Super Bowl championships during the ‘90s. In fact, Troy Boy may have crossed the line of unconditional loyalty in Jerry’s world.

The truth can hurt.

The ‘Boys were 3-5 and seemingly going nowhere under coach Jason Garrett, quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and a fair-to-middlin’ defense.

Now those same Cowboys have pulled themselves up by their snakeskin boot straps and climbed atop the competitive NFC East. Three straight wins against Philadelphia and Atlanta on the road and Washington at home can do wonders.

In the immortal words of Jimmy Johnson, “How ‘bout dem Cowboys!”

On Thursday night, I suspect the rampaging and soon-to-be-crowned defending NFC South champion New Orleans Saints will bring the Cowboys crashing back to earth with a deafening thud at AT&T Stadium.

As fate would have it, Aikman will help call the game with lead voice Joe Buck for FOX/NFL Network/Amazon.

On paper, the Cowboys are a prohibitive home ‘dog, 7 1/2 points by most sports betting houses, which translates to double digits if the Week 13 game were to be played in New Orleans or a neutral site. That said, they have played their best football at home this season, winning four of five games.

On paper, the Saints appear to be indestructible, capable of winning any where, any how, any time. Owners of the NFL’s longest active winning streak of 10 games, including nine straight against the spread, the Black and Gold can clinch the NFC South with a win and a loss by Carolina (6-5) at Tampa Bay (4-7).

With four games remaining!

Stealing a page from Aikman’s dare-I-say playbook, I contend the biggest task facing Saints coach Sean Payton going forward is keeping his team totally engaged for the remainder of the regular season.

Look, anything can happen in one game. Case in point: Game 14 of the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV championship season in 2009 when the Cowboys paid a Saturday night visit to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome six days before Christmas.

The Saints entered the game with a season-opening 13 game-winning streak and exited with their first loss, a 24-17 setback engineered by Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo who outplayed Drew Brees on a national stage.

Do I think Prescott will outplay Brees on Thursday night? Do I think the Cowboys will shock the NFL world and snap the Saints’ 10-game winning streak?

No and no, a thousand times no.

The Saints’ victory-tsunami continues.

Brian Allee-Walsh, a longtime Saints reporter based in New Orleans, can be reached at sports@sunherald.com.
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