Jerry’s World hasn’t been too hot as of late. After an impressive 6-1 start to the season, Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys have dropped three of the past four games, with the lone victory being against the Atlanta Falcons. Amari Cooper missed the past two games after landing on the COVID-19 reserve list, and Ezekiel Elliott got banged up in the Thanksgiving overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Next up for the Cowboys is the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football. The Saints are also in the midst of a losing streak and have a lengthy list of injuries of their own. However, the Cowboys got some much-needed good news ahead of Thursday’s showdown on a couple of key players while trying to get by without head coach Mike McCarthy, who himself landed on the COVID-19 list.
The Cowboys are getting back to full strength with Amari Cooper activated and Ezekiel Elliott ready to roll
Just a couple of days ago, the Cowboys figured to be without Elliott for quite some time. Cooper had concerns of his own after missing the past two games. Now, the Cowboys will have Cooper back on the field, barring some last-minute changes.
In Cooper’s absence, Cedrick Wilson became the go-to target for Prescott, especially with CeeDee Lamb missing the Thanksgiving showdown. Wilson had seven catches for 104 yards and Michael Gallup had five catches for 106 yards in the overtime loss.
The week before, against the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas scored just nine points and Dallas Schultz led the way with six grabs for 53 yards.
The addition of Cooper — and Lamb — will give Prescott his usual core of pass-catchers for a must-win game.
As far as Elliott is concerned, his status seemed to be on a negative slide after a report from Ed Werder. However, Elliott registered a full practice and the Cowboys’ weapons should be ready to roll on Thursday.
This is good news all around for Dallas, save for the ankle injury to Wilson.
The Saints have injuries of their own but are getting ready to roll out Taysom Hill
Finally, after weeks of watching Trevor Siemian start following the injury to Jameis Winston, it looks like Sean Payton is finally putting his favorite weapon back into the lineup.
Taysom Hill missed some time with various ailments and is finally ready to go after securing a nice, new contract. The Saints need a resurgence, also.
After the season-ending injury to Winston, the Saints dropped four straight and have fallen out of the playoff picture for the time being. Siemian hasn’t played great and the hope is that Hill can rejuvenate this offense.
Alvin Kamara is officially listed as questionable after missing the Thanksgiving game, which could be a big blow to the Saints.
Nonetheless, this is a massive game for New Orleans as they try to avoid a fifth straight loss.
The Cowboys need to get back on track and will have to do so without Mike McCarthy
McCarthy will miss the game, and former head coach Dan Quinn will step into his role against the Saints. It certainly helps that Quinn has familiarity going against New Orleans from his time as the Falcons head coach.
Nonetheless, this is an important game for both sides. The Saints are dropping quickly, and the Cowboys went from Super Bowl contender to major question mark in just a matter of weeks.
The absence of McCarthy will be a tough one, but the Cowboys have dealt with many issues this season. Prescott missed time, Lamb and Cooper missed time, and the list goes on and on.
For now, things are finally trending back up for the Cowboys.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference