Cowboys vs. Saints 2013 game preview: First-place teams meet in the Superdome

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

The Saints try to shake off a close loss to the Jets while the Cowboys look to get some space in the NFC East. Here's everything you need to know about the game.

The New Orleans Saints host the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10. Both teams sit in first place and are looking to get a leg up in their respective divisions.

The Saints are coming off a close road loss to the New York Jets, while the Cowboys needed a late fourth-quarter drive to beat the Minnesota Vikings. This game promises to feature plenty of fireworks with two top-notch offenses and questionable defenses.

Meet the New Orleans Saints

One of the hottest teams in the league, the Saints ran into a speed bump in last week's 26-20 loss to the Jets. Drew Brees was humming as usual, but threw two costly interceptions. On the defensive side, the Saints were worn down by New York's running game, surrendering 198 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Despite the loss, the Saints are still 6-2 and first place in the NFC South, but the Carolina Panthers are nipping at their heels. A home win here will be important to keep pace with the Seahawks and 49ers for NFC playoff seeding.

Meet the Dallas Cowboys

Week 9 was another roller coaster ride for Cowboys fans, but this time their team came out on top. Tony Romo led a touchdown drive with just two minutes to give Dallas a narrow 27-23 win over the lowly Vikings. Once again the Cowboys put the offense on Romo's back, running the ball just nine times.

Dallas is now 5-4 and moves back to first place in the NFC East. They may be the best team in this woeful division, but need a good showing here on the road to prove they will be able to do anything in the playoffs.

Local Takes: New Orleans Saints

J.R. Ella from Canal Street Chronicles broke down the struggles along the Saints' offensive line:

After eight games in their NFL season, the New Orleans Saints offensive line has already allowed 20 sacks. Last year, they gave up a grand total of 26 sacks. The disturbing news is what the film breakdown reveals: rather than simple miscommunication, this unit is often overmatched.

Local Takes: Dallas Cowboys

Joey Ickes from Blogging The Boys calls for the Cowboys to give up on linebacker Ernie Sims:

The coaches love Sims aggressiveness, which can be a great trait for a player if he can keep it under control. However, his aggressiveness has continually gotten this defense in trouble. Against Detroit it was Sims who vacated his underneath zone, biting on a play-action fake by Matt Stafford, which left Brandon Carr out to dry resulting in an 87-yard catch-and-run on a slant route by Calvin Johnson. It was also Sims who missed multiple tackles, and was juked by Christian Ponder to finish up the Vikings first touchdown drive.

Follow the Fun

Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs, Canal Street Chronicles and Blogging The Boys, for more analysis and highlights from the game.

Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:

@SaintsCSC

@BloggingTheBoys

Prediction

All six of SB Nation's expert analysts are picking the Saints to come away with this one.

Odds

The Saints are favored by either 6.5 or seven points, according to Oddshark, with some books having them as high as 7.5 point favorites.

Next Week

The Saints stay home for a clash with the 49ers. The Cowboys get their bye week.

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