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1 Up and 3 Downs from the New Orleans Saints’ Upset Loss to the Dallas Cowboys

Three “Downs” and one “Up” from the game.

New Orleans Saints v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

We all knew the stinker game was coming eventually.

The Saints were never really competitive in the game, even though the score always remained close. There were still a few “Ups” and “Downs” along the way. Here are a few that stood out:

New Orleans Saints v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Down: Officiating

This isn’t just the “homer” in me - the officiating in this game was absolutely abysmal. The ticky-tacky offsides penalty on Randy Gregory... The non-call of defensive pass interference on targets to Michael Thomas... The missed facemask call on Taylor Stallworth against Dak Prescott... The potential offensive pass interference on Keith Kirkwood on the Saints TD catch... The incorrect call on Michael Thomas’s catch early in the game... The overturned call on the Dan Arnold catch and fumble...

Few were more egregious than the non-call on the targeting hit on Alvin Kamara that resulted in the Saints having to punt the ball back to the Cowboys or the Cole Beasley third down play that was incorrectly called a first down. Unfortunately, due to two earlier missed called from the officials, the Saints were out of challenges to have the call overturned.

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

Up: Saints defense

The Saints defense cannot be faulted for the loss. The Saints defensive line caused chaos for Dak Prescott all game, with David Onyemata one of the major culprits. Cam Jordan also had a big game, with no moment more critical than his sack-fumble (all while being held) late in the fourth quarter.

The Saints were largely able to hold Ezekiel Elliott in check in the ground game, and the Saints forced two turnovers to keep the Saints in the game.

New Orleans Saints v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Down: Saints receivers

All in all, the Saints receivers struggled all game. There were drops from all of the Saints receivers, even including Saints RB Alvin Kamara, all game. Even Drew Brees’s first pass of the game, was a dropped first down from Keith Kirkwood. The Saints would go on to punt after a three-and-out.

It’s possible this Saints group of UDFA wide receivers will simply struggle against stronger secondaries. Ted Ginn Jr and Brandon Marshall can’t get here fast enough.

New Orleans Saints v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Down: Drew Brees

Yes, the Saints offensive line didn’t make things easier on Drew, but he just had a bad game. Drew made bad reads and missed throws from the drive of the game. On Drew’s late interception that sealed the victory for Dallas, Drew said he was trying to just throw the ball away, but he couldn’t even do that correctly.

It’s possible that Drew’s overall poor performance against the Cowboys (18 of 28 for 127 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and a 16.3 QBR) just cost him the MVP.