- Cowboys leap to +2000 on Super Bowl odds following Thursday night's 13-10 upset New Orleans
- Victory over the Saints extends Cowboys' SU win streak to four games
- Super Bowl expectations temper by Cowboys' lengthy playoff losing streak on the road
The Dallas Cowboys continued their steady march back into playoff contention with Thursday night’s stunning 13-10 upset victory over the visiting New Orleans Saints, as heavy 7.5-point underdogs, to extend their current SU win streak to four games.
With the win, the Cowboys inch past the slumping Washington Redskins to take sole possession of first place in the NFC East standings.
They have been rewarded by the oddsmakers too, leaping to a short +2000 wager on the NFL futures at BetOnline after lagging as a distant +11900 wager on the Super Bowl odds just four weeks ago.
Odds to Win Super Bowl 53
|Team||Odds to Win Super Bowl 53 at
|New Orleans Saints||+350|
|Los Angeles Rams||+350|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+450|
|New England Patriots||+600|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+1800|
With the Redskins reeling after quarterback Alex Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury in a 23-21 loss to Houston two weeks ago, and the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles failing to post consecutive wins during a middling 5-6 start, the Cowboys have also improved to short -300 favorites to claim their third divisional crown in five years.
Playoff Road Losing Streak Presents Massive Challenge
However, the Cowboys can still expect to face some massive obstacles in their bid to win their first Super Bowl title since 1995.
Despite Thursday’s loss, the Saints remain in a neck-and-neck race with the Los Angeles Rams for top spot in the conference that will likely continue through the final month of the season.
Any run to the Super Bowl will require the Cowboys to do something they haven't done since 1993, win a playoff game on the road
That means any run to the Super Bowl will require the Cowboys to do something they haven't done since 1993, win a playoff game on the road.
Dallas is 0-7 SU in their past seven playoff road games, most recently dropping a 26-21 decision to Green Bay in Divisional Playoff action two years ago.
Indeed, the Cowboys’ road woes have not been limited to the postseason. Dallas fell to defeat in their first four road outings this season, and have topped 20 points just once during a middling 4-3 SU run in December road contests.
#NewOrleans @Saints-Dallas Cowboys playoff rematch? Here’s how it could happen https://t.co/MDu3X14dci pic.twitter.com/m7q5LjNsH7
— DC Cajun (@DCCajun) November 30, 2018
While the Cowboys have emerged as giant slayers after halting the Saints’ 10-game win streak, they have enjoyed little success when visiting the Big Easy, losing outright in seven of nine dates at the Superdome.
Stingy Defense Key to Cowboys' Recent Success
However, there is reason for Cowboys fans to be optimistic about the squad’s championship aspirations.
The Dallas defense has emerged as one of the best in the NFL during the team’s four-game win streak, proving it with an impressive performance against New Orleans, which had racked up an NFL-best 37 points per game prior to this week’s loss.
The rise of the Cowboys defense started well before New Orleans win https://t.co/KfI26zxurH pic.twitter.com/Tb0vMQJn1W
— ESPNDallas (@ESPNDallas) November 30, 2018
Dallas now sits second only to the Baltimore Ravens with just 18.6 points allowed per game, and has now limited opposing passers to fewer than 200 passing yards on five occasions this season, including Drew Brees, who mustered just 127 aerial yards on Thursday night.
Elliott, Cooper Driving a Revitalized Cowboys Attack
In addition to enjoying recent success against the Rams and Chicago Bears, who join the Saints as their primary playoff rivals, the Cowboys must continue to get strong performances on offence, particularly from rusher Ezekiel Elliott and wide receiver Amari Cooper.
The dynamic duo have played important roles in the Cowboys' revitalized attack after the team topped 20 points just twice in their first eight games of the season.
We were joined by @nickeatman from @cowboysdotcom to chat Amari Cooper and his chemistry with QB Dax Prescott. pic.twitter.com/ePD9Ujd6iW
— The Sweat (@TheSweatDK) November 28, 2018
Elliott padded his league-leading rushing yard total by scampering for 76 yards while adding 60 receiving yards and one TD catch against New Orleans.
Much maligned for his apparent lack of passion for the game in his final days with the Oakland Raiders, Cooper has developed instant chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott, making eight catches in each of his past two outings.
He has added a new dimension to the Cowboys attack, which they will need to maintain if they are to make any noise come playoff time.
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