Saints coach Sean Payton says he expects quarterback Drew Brees to return as starter against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night in the Superdome.

Brees missed the Saints' loss in Carolina last Sunday because of a bruised rotator cuff in his right (throwing) shoulder.

Brees, who is the Saints' career passing leader, has been taking first-team snaps during practices since Wednesday and making an array of throws while working on his rehabilitation.

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If Brees does start as planned, he'll return to a club that is 0-3 and in desperate need of a victory.