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Saints Avenge Last Year Loss, Defeat Cowboys 12-10

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In an eerie case of déjà vu, the Saints defeated the Cowboys 12-10, with the defense playing its best game of the year

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Coming from what was perhaps the biggest regular season win in the Sean Payton era - a 33-27 win on the road in Seattle without quarterback Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints (3-1) were back home in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to face the unbeaten Dallas Cowboys (3-1). The game held huge implications in the NFC playoffs race this early in the season, as the Saints and Cowboys both figure to make a run in this year’s postseason.

In the first half, the Saints’ defense did a number on the Cowboys offense, holding Dak Prescott and Co. to a field goal, causing two turnovers and handing great field position to its offense on a regular basis. The Saints’ offense however, would not find much success, registering only three field goals. At halftime, the Saints held a meager 9-3 lead over the Cowboys.

In the second half, the Saints’ offense would go three-and-out on its first possession, followed by a Dallas’ touchdown drive. Trailing 10-9, the Saints would then hold the ball for over half of the quarter and into the fourth quarter. New Orleans however would settle for a field goal yet again, retaking a tenuous 12-10 lead. The Cowboys would not go away, but the Saints’ defense would continuously rise to the challenge, stopping Dallas and giving Bridgewater and the Saints’ offense opportunities to gain some separation on the scoreboard. the Saints’ offense unfortunately would not be able to keep the ball, punting back to Dallas with a precarious 12-10 lead.

But this was a night for the Saints’ defense, as Dennis Allen’s men would hold once again, and safety Marcus Williams intercepting a Dak Prescott desperation heave with two seconds left in the game to seal the win.

The Saints are now 3-1 and have won two in a row since Drew Brees’ injury. as a wise man once said: “Who would’ve thunk it?”

———

Here is how the game unfolded:

FIRST HALF

First Quarter

  • The Saints win the toss and defer, kicking off to the Cowboys who start at their own 25-yard line. After gaining two first downs, Dallas stalls and is forced to punt.
  • Saints take over at their 14-yard line and begin the game with a screen pass to running back Latavius Murray to get Teddy Bridgewater comfortable. After a false start penalty on center Erik McCoy, Bridgewater finds Michael Thomas to convert on third down. A holding penalty on left tackle Terron Armstead sets the Saints back, and on third-and-long, a pass from Bridgewater to wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. is bobbled and picked off by Cowboys’ Chidobe Awuzie at the Cowboys’ 46-yard line.
  • Cowboys take over at their 46 and and get into Saints territory aided by a roughing the passer penalty on Saints’ safety Vonn Bell. Cowboys get into the Saints’ red zone on a pass to tight end Jason Witten. Cowboys stall at the Saints’ 10-yard line and settle for a Brett Maher field goal.
  • NO: 0 - DAL: 3
  • Deonte Harris returns the kickoff to the Saints’ 26-yard line and New Orleans, aided by a facemask penalty, gets near midfield, then into Cowboys’ territory on runs by Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill, who trucks poor Dallas safety Xavier Woods on his run. Saints get into Dallas’ red zone on a run by Deonte Harris. Saints go backwards on successive penalties. On 3rd-and-25, Saints gain seven yards and stall as the quarter ends.

Second Quarter

  • Wil Lutz makes a 40-yard field goal to start the quarter and ties the game.
  • NO: 3 - DAL: 3
  • Lutz kicks out of the end zone and the Cowboys start at their 25-yard line. Cowboys go three-and-out, with Marshon Lattimore breaking up a pass intended for Amari Cooper on third-and-5. Cowboys punt and Deonte Harris, who is a weapon, returns the punt to the Saints’ 49-yard line.
  • On the first play, Bridgewater finds tight end Josh Hill for a screen pass down to the Cowboys’ 31-yard line, but a holding penalty on Erik McCoy sets them back again. Saints get into the red zone on a pass to Michael Thomas. On 3rd-and-7 from Dallas’ 15-yard line, Bridgewater is sacked by defensive tackle Maliek Collins. Wil Lutz makes a 42-yard field goal.
  • NO: 6 - DAL: 3
  • Cowboys take over at their 25-yard line after the touchback from Wil Lutz. On 3rd-and-4 from Dallas’ 31-yard line, Jason Witten catches a long pass, but linebacker A.J. Klein forces a fumble. Vonn Bell recovers the fumble at the Saints’ 47-yard line.
  • Saints run a screen play, but another holding penalty, this time on right guard Larry Warford pushes them back. Saints stall and have to punt again.
  • Dallas takes over at its 22-yard line and gains one first down but it set back by a penalty on Amari Cooper at the two-minute warning. Cowboys face a 4th-and-one at their own 44-yard line and decide to go for it and Ezekiel Elliott gets the yard, but is stripped by Vonn Bell. Bell recovers the fumble and Saints take over.
  • Saints start at Dallas’ 45-yard line and move to Dallas’ 27-yard line. A roughing-the-passer penalty on the Cowboys gives the Saints a first down in the red zone. Saints get to the Cowboys one-yard line but stall and have to kick a field goal. Wil Lutz kicks a 19-yard field goal as time expires.
  • NO: 9 - DAL: 3

SECOND HALF

Third Quarter

  • Saints receive the kickoff and start from their 25-yard line after a touchback. Saints cannot find a first down and go three-and-out. Thomas Morstead pins the Cowboys inside their 20-yard line.
  • Cowboys start at their 16-yard line and move the ball and stall, but are aided by a pass interference penalty on linebacker Demario Davis keeps the Cowboys’ drive alive. Cowboys get into Saints’ territory on the arm of quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott finds tight end Blake Jarwin at the Saints’ two-yard line. Ezekiel Elliott plunges into the end zone for a touchdown, the first of the night.
  • NO: 9 - DAL: 10
  • Saints take over at their 25-yard line after a touchback. Saints mix run and passes to get to midfield. Saints methodically drive into Cowboys’ territory. Alvin Kamara runs like a man possessed, getting the Saints into Dallas’ red zone. Saints face a 2nd-and-5 at the Cowboys’ 11-yard line as the quarter ends.

Fourth Quarter

  • On 3rd-and-7, Bridgewater scrambles but comes up short of the first down and Wil Lutz converts a 26-yard field goal.
  • NO: 12 - DAL: 10
  • Cowboys take over at their 25-yard line. On 3rd-and-6, a penalty on Eli Apple keeps the Cowboys drive alive. Cowboys eventually stall at their own 42-yard line and have to punt. The punt bounces into the end zone for a touchback.
  • Saints take over at their 20-yard line and immediately get a holding penalty, this time on left guard Andrus Peat. From first-and-20, Bridgewater finds Michael Thomas on 3rd-and-4 for a Saints’ big first down. Saints get to their 43-yard line and face a 3rd-and-6, Bridgewater gets sacked for a loss on a miscommunication play where Terron Armstead did not hear the snap call. Saints punt and Cowboys start at their 10-yard line following a holding penalty on Dallas.
  • Dallas takes over at their 10-yard line, but goes three-and-out on a beautiful pass breakup by Marshon Lattimore on Amari Cooper. Cowboys punt and Saints take over at their own 38-yard line.
  • From their 38-yard line and with 5:22 left in the game, the Saints gain a first down and get into Cowboys’ territory on runs by Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray. Saints rush for a first down as Kamara gets to the Cowboys’ 33-yard line at the two-minute warning. Saints try and run down the clock with Kamara, with the Cowboys starting to use their three remaining timeouts. Facing a 3rd-and-8 from Dallas’ 31-yard line, Bridgewater retreats and gets sacked all the way back to midfield.
  • Morstead punts to the Cowboys’ 13-yard line as Dallas needs only a field goal to take the lead. On the first play of the drive, David Onyemata sacks Dak Prescott, the Saints’ first sack of the night. Prescott gets the Cowboys out of the shadow of their end zone, narrowly avoiding a sack. Cowboys incur a pass interference penalty and are pushed back. Cowboys get near midfield and have a Hail Mary opportunity with 2 seconds left on the clock. On 2nd-and-10 from their own 48-yard line Dak Prescott heaves a Hail Mary that Marcus Williams intercepts to end the game. A whale of a game for the defense.
  • Saints Win! Saints Win!
  • NO: 12 - DAL: 10

Poll

Who gets your game ball from tonight’s win against Dallas?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    The Saints’ defense: they are the real MVP
    (336 votes)
  • 4%
    Wil Lutz! He scored all the points!
    (18 votes)
  • 2%
    Alvin Kamara: He continues to run like a demon
    (11 votes)
  • 7%
    Marshon Lattimore: He is baaaaaaack!
    (29 votes)
  • 3%
    The Heart Attack Burger, the Saints’ favorite
    (13 votes)
407 votes total Vote Now