Dallas Cowboys: 5 Players that must shine vs. Saints in Week 4

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 08: Leighton Vander Esch #55 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 08: Leighton Vander Esch #55 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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4. Ezekiel Elliott

Saying that Ezekiel Elliott is an X-factor for the Dallas Cowboys is very much stating the obvious. Even with the newfound play-action passing attack this season, the star running back for America’s Team has been playing quite well and been heavily involved over the last two weeks, topping 110 yards in each of those two outings and averaging 5.6 yards per carry as well.

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Against the Saints, though, establishing the run game and controlling the ball is going to be critical. New Orleans has a big-time home-field advantage at the Superdome but the Cowboys can help to take the air out of the building and the fans out of the game by giving Zeke a heavy workload and letting him cause the Saints defense to bleed out. Put simply, Elliott needs to be true to form on Sunday night.

3. Devin Smith

While Amari Cooper has been on a tear to start the 2019 season with four touchdowns through three games, he’s going to have a potentially tough matchup on Sunday night. While Marshon Lattimore has not been good this year to start, he’s by far the Saints’ best defensive back. Subsequently, he’ll likely be on Cooper for much of the night but that could leave Devin Smith for a big day.

As questionable as Lattimore has been playing, the rest of the Saints secondary has been worse. New Orleans ranks 25th in pass defense DVOA through three weeks, according to Football Outsiders. The Seahawks also showed they are susceptible to the deep ball. That’s Smith’s forte and, as Michael Gallup is out again this week, the former second-round pick could step up and really turn the tide in the Cowboys’ favor with big plays down the field.