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Inside the Game: New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys connections

Take an inside look at the connections between the Saints and Cowboys before their Week 13 matchup on Thursday, Nov. 29. 

New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys Connections

  • Saints Coach Sean Payton served on the Cowboys coaching staff from 2003-05, serving under then head coach Bill Parcells.
  • New Orleans defensive coordinator Dennis Allen prepped at L.D. Bell (Hurst, Texas) HS, played at Texas A&M and then served as a graduate assistant at his alma mater for four seasons.
  • Saints assistant head coach/tight ends Dan Campbell prepped at Glen Rose (Texas) HS and also played for the Aggies and played for the Cowboys from 2003-05.
  • New Orleans secondary coach Aaron Glenn played at Navarro Junior College, then was a two-time All-American for the Aggies and then played for the Cowboys from 2005-06.
  • Saints quarterback Drew Brees prepped at Westlake (Austin, Texas) HS.
  • New Orleans defensive assistant Michael Hodges is a San Antonio native who played at Texas A&M from 2007-10.
  • Saints senior offensive assistant/wide receivers Curtis Johnson coached wide receivers at SMU in 1995. Johnson and Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan were college teammates at Idaho. Linehan, Dallas assistant wide receivers coach Kyle Valero and Saints special teams coordinator Bradford Banta served on the same Detroit staff from 2009-13. Banta served on Cowboys defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Rod Marinelli's staff in Detroit in 2008. New Orleans assistant special teams coach Kevin O'Dea and Marinelli served on the same Chicago staff from 2011-12 and in Tampa Bay from 1996-99
  • Dallas safeties coach Greg Jackson played at Louisiana State University from 1985-88, played for the Saints and served as an assistant coach at Tulane from 2007-09 and at Louisiana-Monroe from 2004-06. Jackson and Saints assistant wide receivers coach Ronald Curry and Jackson served on the same 49ers coaching staff from 2013-14.
  • Dallas director of advance scouting and special projects Judd Garrett served on the Saints coaching staff from 1997-99.
  • Dallas tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier played quarterback for the Saints from 1994-97.
  • New Orleans linebackers coach Mike Nolan's father, Dick, played for the Cowboys in 1962, then served as their defensive coordinator for six seasons. He later returned to Dallas as an assistant coach from 1986-90.
  • Saints special teams coach Mike Westhoff served as an assistant at TCU in 1981. Westhoff and Cowboys wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal served on the same Jets staff in 2012.
  • Dallas strength and conditioning coach Brett Bech prepped at Northshore (Slidell) HS, played at Louisiana State University and played for the Saints from 1997-99.
  • Dallas director of strength and conditioning Mike Woicik served in the same position in New Orleans from 1997-99 along with strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul, who served as Woicik's assistant with the Saints during the same period.
  • New Orleans pass rush specialist Brian Young is an El Paso native who started at Texas-El Paso from 1996-99 and was the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a senior.
  • Dallas tackle La'el Collins played at Louisiana State University.
  • Saints guard/tackle Andrus Peat and Cowboys tackle Cameron Fleming were college teammates at Stanford.
  • New Orleans linebacker Manti Te'o and Dallas guard Zack Martin were teammates at Notre Dame.
  • Dallas safety Xavier Woods played at Louisiana Tech.
  • Dallas head coach Jason Garrett spent part of the 1989 season on the Saints practice squad. Garrett was tutored by Payton when he served as offensive coordinator with the New York Giants. Garrett's late father Jim, served on the New Orleans coaching staff under Hank Stram from 1976-77
  • Dallas long snapper L. P. Ladouceur went to camp with the Saints in 2005.
  • Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport prepped at John Paul Stevens (San Antonio, Texas) HS and played at Texas-San Antonio.
  • New Orleans punter Thomas Morstead handled punting and kicking duties at Southern Methodist from 2006-08, where he and Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley were college teammates. Saints safety Chris Banjo, fullback Zach Line and long snapper Zach Wood also played for the Mustangs. Wood prepped at Rowlett (Texas) HS and was on the 2016 and 2017 off season rosters for the Cowboys.
  • Saints linebacker Craig Robertson was a four-year letterman at North Texas.
  • Dallas director of pro scouting Alex Loomis is the son of Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
  • New Orleans defensive end Alex Okafor prepped at Pflugerville (Texas) HS and recorded 23 sacks in four seasons at Texas, where he played with Cowboys tight end Geoff Swaim.
  • Saints cornerback Ken Crawley and Dallas cornerback Chidobe Awuzie were college teammates at Colorado.
  • New Orleans cornerback Eli Apple, safety Vonn Bell, cornerback Marshon Lattimore and wide receiver Michael Thomas played with Cowboys running back Rod Smith, running back Ezekiel Elliott and wide receiver Noah Brown at Ohio State.

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