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Sloppy and Undisciplined Saints Fall to the Cowboys in Ugly 13-10 Defeat

Bad protection, bad drops, bad penalties. This one was ugly from the start

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Winning 10 games in a row in the National Football League is a rare feat. Tonight in Dallas, the New Orleans Saints (10-2) were going for their 11th consecutive win as they faced the surging Dallas Cowboys (7-5) at AT&T Stadium.

While Dallas is fighting to make the playoffs in the tight NFC East, the Saints are trying to stay atop the NFC conference as they vie for the number one overall seed against the Los Angeles Rams (10-1).


Here is how the game unfolded:

1st HALF

The Saints won the toss and deferred to the second half. Dallas on the arm of Dak Prescott, would move all the way to the Saints’ 6-yard line, where the Saints defense would stiffen and force the Cowboys to attempt a 26-yard field goal that Brett Maher converts to give Dallas a 3-0 lead.

On their opening drive, the Saints would go three-and-out on three straight incomplete passes by Drew Brees, resulting in a quick punt by Thomas Morstead.

On Dallas’ second drive of the game, David Onyemata would ack Dak Prescott on a 3rd-and-6 play, this was Onyemata’s and the Saints’ second sack of the game, forcing Dallas to punt the ball back to New Orleans. With 6:34 left in the quarter, the Saints had had the ball for 35 seconds, vs. Dallas’ 7:51 minutes.

On New Orleans’ ensuing drive, the Saints would turn to two running plays, then a pass to Michael Thomas on third down that the Saints challenged but lost, forcing them to punt for the second time of the game.

On the next drive for the Cowboys, Dallas would get the ball at their own 15-yard line and drive 85 yards down the field, capping their possession with a Dak Prescott screen pass to Ezekiel Elliott to take a 10-0 lead.

On the Saints’ third possession of the game, New Orleans would finally record their first “first down” of the game, on a contested pass from Drew Brees to tight end Dan Arnold. The drive would be short-lived however, as the Saints would stall once again and punt the ball back to the Cowboys.

On Dallas’ next possession, the Saints’ defense would give its offense a chance to atone, with cornerback Marshon Lattimore forcing a fumble by wide receiver Amari Cooper and recovering the fumble himself in Cowboys’ territory.

Taking the ball over at the Cowboys’ 39-yard line, the Saints would drive all the way down into the red zone, on a crazy play that saw tight end Dan Arnold catch a Drew Brees pass, fumble the ball, which was recovered by Michael Thomas. Sean Payton would challenge the initial call on the field that Arnold had not made the catch and win, giving the Saints the ball at the Cowboys’ 7-yard line. However, on 4th-and-goal on a run by Alvin Kamara was stuffed at the Cowboys’ 2-yard line. On the play, the Saints would also find themselves out of challenges for the game.

Taking over in the shadow of their end zone, the Cowboys would drive all the way into Saints territory, on great plays made mainly by Dak Prescott. After stalling and recovering a Dak Prescott’s fumble on 3rd down, Dallas would settle for a 46-yard field goal to take a 13-0 lead.

With 51 seconds left, the Saints got the ball at their 25-yard line and avoided further disaster when Drew Brees recovered his own fumble on second down. The Saints would eventually run the clock out and go into the locker room trailing 13-0 and probably feeling pretty lucky to be down by only 13 points.

In the first half, Dallas held the ball for 21:49 minutes, compared to only 8:11 minutes for the Saints. New Orleans came into the game leading the league in time of possession at over 32 minutes per game.


2nd HALF

Getting the ball to start the half, the Saints would drive all the way down to Dallas’ 15-yard line and stall, settling for a field goal to narrow the Cowboys’ lead to 13-3.

On Dallas’ first possession of the second half, the Saints’ defense would show up, sacking Dak Prescott once again and forcing Dallas to punt the ball back to New Orleans with 5:47 left in the third quarter.

New Orleans would take the ball and drive to midfield and stall, but a roughing penalty committed on Thomas Morstead by the Cowboys’ Randy Gregory gave New Orleans the ball back into Dallas’ territory. On third-and-7 from the Cowboys’ 30-yard line, Drew Brees would find Keith Kirkwood for a touchdown, narrowing Dallas’ lead to 13-10.

Taking over their next possession at their own 25-yard line, the Cowboys would face a crucial third-and-13 at their own 22-yard line as the third quarter expired. At the start of the fourth quarter, Dallas fails to convert and punts the ball, which Alvin Kamara returned to the Saints’ 34-yard line.

Having the ball in relatively good field position, the Saints drive to midfield, where Brees is hit and sacked, but the play is negated by an offside penalty on Randy Gregory. New Orleans however would be unable to protect Brees well enough, and be forced to punt the ball back to Dallas with 9:19 left in the game. On the drive, the referees would dismiss a blatant helmet-to-helmet shot taken on Alvin Kamara by Jaylon Smith.

Dallas would take over at their own 20-yard line and drive all the way inside the Saints red zone, aided on the drive by a crucial roughing the passer penalty on Saints’ safety Vonn Bell. On the same drive, the referees had also missed a facemask penalty on the Saints, so in some way, the odds were evened. On 3rd and 5 from the Saints’ 6-yard line, Cameron Jordan sacks Prescott and forces a fumble, which the Saints recover at their 15-yard line.

Taking over at their 15-yard line, Drew Brees once again under pressure would throw his third interception of the season, giving the ball back to Dallas deep in Saints territory.

From there, the Cowboys would take over and a pass interference penalty on MArshon Lattimore would effectively end the game.

The Saints fall to 10-2 and now have a mini-bye week to get ready for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and hopefully a rebound game. This is still a playoffs team that has a lot to play for, so don’t hang your head in despair.

Who Dat Y’all!!!


Here is a quarter by quarter timeline of the game:

1st Quarter

  • Saints win the toss and defer to the second half
  • Cowboys take over at their 25-yard line
  • Cowboys get to their 40-yard line and convert a 3rd-and-7 into Saints territory
  • Michael Gallup catches a 40-yard pass to the Saints’ 6-yard line
  • David Onyemata sacks Dak Prescott on 3rd and goal at the Saints’ 8-yard line
  • Brett Maher converts a 26-yard field goal
  • NO: 0 - DAL: 3
  • Taysom Hill returns the ball to the Saints’ 22-yard line
  • Saints go three-and-out on three straight passes by Drew Brees
  • Thomas Morstead punts, and Cowboys return to their own 29-yard line
  • David Onyemata sacks Dak Prescott for the second time of the game on 3rd-and-6
  • Dallas punts and Saints return it to their 26-yard line
  • On third down, Drew Brees’ pass to Michael Thomas falls incomplete
  • Saints challenge the call and lose, forcing them to punt
  • Thomas Morstead pins the Cowboys to their own 15-yard line
  • Cowboys quickly reach midfield on three plays
  • Cowboys get into the Saints’ red zone on passes to Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott
  • Dak Prescott finds Ezekiel Elliott on a screen pass for a touchdown
  • NO: 0 - DAL: 10
  • A Saints penalty pins them to their 9-yard line
  • Brees finds Dan Arnold for a first down, the first of the game for the Saints

2nd Quarter

  • Saints stall on 3rd and 9 and have to punt again
  • Another penalty on New Orleans gives Dallas the ball at their 32-yard line
  • Amari Cooper fumbles the ball and New Orleans recovers at Dallas’ 39-yard line
  • Saints get into the red zone on a crazy catch and fumble play by Dan Arnold
  • Michael Thomas recovers the fumble, giving the Saints the ball at the 7-yard line
  • On 4th and goal, Alvin Kamara is stopped short of the goal line
  • Dallas takes over at their 2-yard line
  • Dallas gets out of the shadow of their end zone on the arm of Prescott
  • Cowboys get into Saints territory on a run by Dak Prescott
  • Cowboys are driving at the two-minute warning
  • Cowboys eventually stall and make a 46-yard field goal
  • NO: 0 - DAL: 13
  • Saints take over at their 25-yard line with 51 seconds left
  • Drew Brees is hit and fumbles on second down, but recovers his own fumble
  • Saints stall on third down and end the half trailing by 13

3rd Quarter

  • Saints take over at their 25-yard line after the kickoff
  • Saints convert a 3rd-and-1 to keep their drive from being a three-and-out
  • Saints get into Cowboys territory on a pass to Michael Thomas
  • Saints get into the red zone on a facemask penalty by the Cowboys
  • Saints stall in the red zone and Wil Lutz converts a 33-yard field goal
  • NO: 3 - DAL: 13
  • Cowboys take over at their 25-yard line
  • Saints sack Dak Prescott on 1st down for a loss of 10 yards
  • Cowboys stall on 4th and 10 and have to punt
  • Saints take over at their 12-yard line
  • Saints get into Dallas’ territory on a run by Alvin Kamara
  • Saints stall near midfield and punt
  • Randy Gregory roughs Thomas Morstead on the punt, giving the Saints the ball back
  • From the Dallas’ 30-yard line, Drew Brees hits Keith Kirkwood for a touchdown
  • NO: 10- DAL: 13
  • Dallas takes over at their 25-yard line
  • dallas is facing a third down as the third quarter ends

4th Quarter

  • On 3rd-and-13, Dallas stalls in their own territory and has to punt
  • Alvin Kamara returns the punt to the Saints’ 34-yard line
  • Drew Brees is hit and sacked but an offside on the Cowboys negates it
  • On third and inches, the Saints convert with a run by Alvin Kamara
  • Brees is sacked on first down for a loss of 8 yards back to midfield
  • Saints stall and punt the ball
  • Dallas takes over at their 20-yard line
  • Dak Prescott converts a crucial 3rd and 10, breaking arm tackles
  • Cowboys drive deep into Saints’ territory on a run by Ezekiel Elliott
  • On a penalty by Vonn Bell, Dallas gets a first down into the Saints red zone
  • On 3rd and 5 from the Saints’ 6-yard line, Cameron Jordan sacks Prescott
  • Jordan forces a fumble and the recovers the fumble himself
  • Saints take over at their 15-yard line
  • Drew Brees throws an interception, his third of the season
  • Dallas takes over at the Saints’ 25-yard line
  • A penalty on Marshon Lattimore gives the Cowboys a 1st-and-goal
  • Dallas kneels on the ball to end the game
  • Dallas wins the game: NO: 10- DAL: 13


How do you feel after the Saints’ loss at Dallas tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Awful, the team looked unprepared and overmatched
    (232 votes)
  • 20%
    Just a bump in the road, we’re still 10-2
    (141 votes)
  • 34%
    Dallas showed the blueprint on how to defeat the Saints. Scary thought
    (238 votes)
  • 10%
    An opportunity to bounce back. This is actually good
    (70 votes)
  • 2%
    I’m just going to ingest all the burgers that I can
    (16 votes)
697 votes total Vote Now