Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys anticipated Drew Brees starting for the Saints

The Cowboys expected Drew Brees (9) to get the nod over Luke McCown (7) after Brees missed last week’s game with a bruised rotator cuff.
The Cowboys expected Drew Brees (9) to get the nod over Luke McCown (7) after Brees missed last week’s game with a bruised rotator cuff. AP

Saints coach Sean Payton announced Friday that he expects Drew Brees to start against the Cowboys on Sunday night. The Cowboys were not surprised.

“We expected that,” linebacker Sean Lee said Friday. “Being the quarterback he is, obviously it’ll be an incredible challenge. He’s a Hall of Fame-type of guy. We’ve played him before. He’s an unbelievable quarterback and an unbelievable challenge, and we knew with a guy like that -- he’s fought through injuries before – that he probably would be playing.”

Brees has played the Cowboys six times in his Saints’ career, with a 4-2 record, 16 touchdowns and three interceptions. He has five 300-yard games, and the only time he didn’t throw for 300 yards – in a 2009 loss to Dallas – he threw for 298.

“I think with anybody like that, with the challenge, you have to prepare even more to make sure you can step up to the challenge and be ready to go,” Lee said. “He’s a guy that obviously is going to be tough, but we’re ready for the challenge.”

Brees missed last week’s game with a bruised rotator cuff. He was replaced by Luke McCown.

Coach Jason Garrett said Thursday the Cowboys were focused on the Saints’ system, not the quarterback.

“We just focus on ourselves,” Garrett said. “We watch them on tape. Both guys have played this year so you see them play. Obviously Brees has played for a long time. But we focus on playing our best defense. They’ll have a good quarterback in there.”

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