Brees’ uncertain status impacting Saints-Cowboys SNF matchup

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(OddsShark.com) The New Orleans Saints will be looking to end a six-game straight up and against the spread losing streak at home when they take the field for a Sunday Night Football matchup with the hobbled Dallas Cowboys.

The Saints have stumbled to an 0-3 start to the season which has been complicated by the loss of quarterback Drew Brees, who was sidelined by a shoulder injury in the club’s 26-19 Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But after participating in practice earlier this week, Brees’ status remains uncertain, and as of Friday morning the line for Sunday’s contest at was still off the board at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Saints’ early woes continued with a 27-22 loss to Carolina last week, but they picked up their first against the spread win of the campaign, covering as 10-point underdogs and ending a four-game ATS losing streak.

Formerly a feared foe in their own building, New Orleans enters Sunday night’s Cowboys vs. Saints betting matchup at the Superdome winless SU and ATS in their last six at home, losing by an average margin of over 13 points during that stretch.

If Brees is unable to go the Saints will once again turn to Luke McCown, who performed admirably against the Panthers, completing 31 of 38 attempts, but failing to find the end zone while tossing one interception in his first major assignment since leading Jacksonville to a 16-14 win over Tennessee in Week 1 of the 2011 season.

The Cowboys also head into Week 4 with no shortage of challenges, starting with their star pivot, Tony Romo, who remains sidelined with a broken collarbone. Veteran Brandon Weeden will once again start in place of Romo. The 31-year-old completed 22 of 26 pass attempts for 232 yards against the Falcons, but failed to connect on a major score. Dallas missed Romo in last weekend’s 39-28 loss to Atlanta, which dropped them to 2-1 on the season, 1-2 ATS.

The Cowboys are also without Romo’s top target, Dez Bryant, who continues to recover from a broken foot that will keep out of action until at least Week 7. Running back Joseph Randle picked up some of the slack against Atlanta, making three touchdown runs that gave Dallas a 28-14 halftime lead.

Randle will likely see more of the ball against a Saints rush defense that ranks No. 24 in the NFL and has surrendered 126 yards per game, as the Cowboys look to improve on their 2-8 SU record in their last 10 against New Orleans, 3-7 ATS, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Don Ohlmeyer, longtime network TV executive, dies at 72

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Don Ohlmeyer, the “Monday Night Football” producer who came up with the phrase “Must See TV” in leading NBC to the No. 1 prime-time spot, died Sunday. He was 72.

“It is with heavy hearts we share that Don Ohlmeyer, our beloved husband, father and grandfather, has passed away at age of 72 due to cancer,” Ohlmeyer’s family said in a statement. “Surrounded by loved ones, he died peacefully at his home in Indian Wells.”

Longtime friend Al Michaels announced Ohlmeyer’s death while broadcasting NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.

Ohlmeyer won 16 Emmys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Peabody Awards.

Ohlmeyer became producer of “MNF” in 1972, teaming with director Chet Forte and the on-air crew of Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford. In 2000 in his second “MNF” stint, Ohlmeyer put comedian Dennis Miller in the booth.

Ohlmeyer first worked for ABC Sports as a gofer while studying at Notre Dame and became a full-time production assistant in 1967 under Roone Arledge, working on “Wide World of Sports.” Along with his “Monday Night Football” work, he directed the network’s Olympic coverage and created “The Superstars.” Later at NBC Sports, he produced World Series and Super Bowl broadcasts.

After running his own Ohlmeyer Communications Company, he returned to NBC in 1993 as president of its entertainment division. He came up with “Must See TV” in the 1990s, when NBC’s rating soared with such hits as “Seinfeld,” ”Friends,” ”ER” and “Frasier.”

Watch Live: New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys on NBC

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The Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants in a battle of NFC East rivals on Sunday Night Football.

Despite going 13-3 and earning the No. 1 seed in the playoffs last year, the Cowboys lost twice to the Giants in 2016, including a loss in Week 1. Dallas hopes to not have a repeat of last year and will rely on sophomores Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott to carry the load. Don’t be surprised if Elliott gets even more carries in this game because there is a possibility his six-game suspension is upheld and he will have plenty of time to rest up before he sees game action again.

The Giants will rely on their strong defense led by DB Landon Collins and DE Jason Pierre-Paul to try and get after Prescott and bottle up Elliott. On offense, New York is all about Eli Manning and the passing attack. Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to suit up, but it remains to be seen how big of a role he will have after injuring his ankle in the preseason. As a result, look for new additions WR Brandon Marshall and rookie TE Evan Engram, to go along with sophomore WR Sterling Shepard to step up for Manning.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Giants vs. Cowboys

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app