PREGAME PREPARATION: Ten New Orleans Saints that Dallas Cowboys fans need to know (Special Feature)

PREGAME PREPARATION - Ten New Orleans Saints that Dallas Cowboys fans need to know (Special Feature) - The Boys Are Back blog

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys are right in the thick of things after a big win over Pittsburgh. But an 8-6 record can only take you so far, and the Cowboys must now win against a high flying Saints team to keep the momentum going. So before the Cowboys host New Orleans this weekend, here’s a look at 10 Saints you ought to know before kickoff.

Need to know QB Drew Brees - The Boys Are Back blog

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QB Drew Brees – One of the greatest players to ever play the position, Brees is in the midst of another great statistical year despite the Saints’ struggles. In Week 5, he broke Johnny Unitas’ record for consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass, which had stood over 50 years. Brees has passed for 4,335 yards and 36 touchdowns this season but has thrown 18 interceptions including five against the Falcons a few weeks ago. He did bounce back and threw for 307 yards and 4 TD’s with no interceptions against Tampa Bay last week so the Cowboys secondary must be ready a tough challenge.

Need to know TE Jimmy Graham - The Boys Are Back blog

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TE Jimmy Graham – Like Tony Romo, Brees has an array of explosive weapons at his disposal. He likes to spread the ball around but if he does have a go-to guy, it’s Graham. He has been dealing with a wrist injury all season and even missed a few games, but Graham is arguably the top tight end in the the NFL despite leading the league in drops with 11. This season, Graham has caught 69 passes for 779 yards and eight touchdown. Brees especially love to look his way in the red zone, where makes most of his scoring grabs.

Need to know LB Curtis Lofton - The Boys Are Back blog

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LB Curtis Lofton – After spending four seasons in Atlanta, Lofton signed with the Saints this offseason and has proved to be a tremendous signing. Lofton currently leads the team in tackles with 113 and has also forced a fumble and recorded a sack. But Lofton is not very good in pass coverage, and that’s exactly where the Cowboys can exploit him.

Need to know WR Marques Colston - The Boys Are Back blog

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WR Marques Colston – Cowboys corners are going to be ready to battle all day against this big and physical target. Colston is one of the league’s premier wide receivers and looked unstoppable at one point early in the season. But his production has tapered off. Colston hasn’t had a 100-yard receiving day since Week 5 and has only caught one touchdown in his last five games. Still, Brees will look his way early and often.

Need to know RB Mark Ingram - The Boys Are Back blog

Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

RB Mark Ingram – He didn’t make nearly the impact many were expecting as a rookie last season, and he hasn’t separated himself from the rest of the backs in New Orleans in his second year, but Ingram remains the Saints’ top option as an every down back. He currently leads the team with 510 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers won’t wow anybody, but the Alabama product is tough to bring down and is coming off his best game of the year.

Need to know DE Will Smith - The Boys Are Back blog

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DE Will Smith – The Cowboys offensive line has been pretty shaky this season but will need to step up this week and keep Smith as far away as possible from Tony Romo. Smith has a motor and is notorious for punishing opposing quarterbacks. The nine year veteran and defensive captain has notched six sacks this season to go along with 54 tackles and a fumble recovery.

Need to know WR Lance Moore - The Boys Are Back blog

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WR Lance Moore – He isn’t the most well-known player on this offense, but the fact is Moore produces. Moore has had solid but not terrific number in his last three years with the club, but this appears to be his best statistical year yet. Moore is second on the team with 57 receptions for 890 yards and five touchdowns. Moore is a big play guy and is averaging over 15 yards per catch.

Need to know RB Darren Sproles - The Boys Are Back blog

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RB Darren Sproles – He may be small, but Sproles is an explosive offensive weapon that is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. But a broken hand forced him to have surgery and miss three games. The injury has limited his production this season, but Sproles is finally reaching full health and has nine receptions and two touchdowns in his last two games. Sproles is also a dangerous return man so don’t surprised when he breaks off a few good returns.

Need to know CB Patrick Robinson - The Boys Are Back blog

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CB Patrick Robinson – It’s no secret that opposing quarterbacks have picked on Robinson all season especially with Malcolm Jenkins being placed on injured reserve. But at times, the young corner out of Florida State has made them pay. He currently leads the team in interceptions with three and returned one for a score against Philadelphia. He has also deflected 17 passes and recorded 53 tackles.

Need to know WR Joe Morgan - The Boys Are Back blog

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WR Joe Morgan – After going undrafted out of Walsh and spending all of last year on injured reserve, Morgan has replaced Devery Henderson as the Saints primary deep threat. Morgan is a true burner and has made the most of his opportunities in the past couple of weeks. Morgan has caught at least one pass for more that 30 yards in his last four games.

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