McCarthy, Cowboys return to Lambeau; Saints have shot at first place

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The NFL is a strange beast. At 6-2, the Dallas Cowboys are still chasing unblemished Philadelphia (8-0) in the NFC East. In the NFC South, the New Orleans Saints enter Sunday’s action 3-6 – and they have a chance to move into first place in their division.

The Cowboys, fresh from their off week, travel to face the struggling Green Bay Packers (3-6). The backfield may feature another one-man show this week as the status of running back Ezekiel Elliott remains up in the air.

Tony Pollard, normally part of a stout two-back system, did just fine on his own in Week 8. With Elliott shelved with a knee injury, Pollard rattled off 131 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-29 victory against the Chicago Bears.

Today’s visit to Lambeau Field signals the return of Mike McCarthy. Currently the Cowboys head coach, McCarthy spent 13 seasons (2006-18) at the helm in Green Bay.

“Not a lot has to be said about this week,” Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott said. “We know what our coach means to us. We know how long he was up there, we know how special going back is going to be for him.”

McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers, still the quarterback for the Packers, led the team to a Super Bowl championship to cap the 2010 season. McCarthy posted a 125-77-2 mark, but was fired after a 4-7-1 start in 2018.

“I’ve got great memories about Green Bay and my time there but no, I mean, I’m four years removed from working there and I’m really looking forward to taking our team up there,” McCarthy said. “I want to win the game.”

Meanwhile, the Saints had a short week of preparation after an anemic effort against Baltimore on Monday night (27-13 loss) in the Superdome. Sunday, New Orleans visits another struggling club, the 2-6 Pittsburgh Steelers.

“More consistency is what we’re looking for,” Saints head coach Dennis Allen said this week. “We haven’t done it consistently enough where we’ve put offense, defense, special teams together and we’ve had too many games where there has been a phase or two that hasn’t operated in a way that we think gives us an opportunity to win.”

The Saints enter Week 10 one game behind Tampa Bay (4-5 Bucs host Seattle on Sunday), a half-game behind Atlanta (4-5) and tied with Carolina (3-6). 

Saints at Pittsburgh

Sunday, noon (Fox) 

Cowboys at Green Bay

Sunday, 3:25 p.m. (Fox)

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com