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Turnovers Doom Saints in 27-17 Loss to Cowboys

Taysom Hill can run, but his passing game needs a lot of work.

Dallas Cowboys v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints came into their Thursday Night Football contest against the Dallas Cowboys with the desperation of a team that had lost four games in a row. Incredibly, in the Sean Payton era, New Orleans had never lost five consecutive games and this 2021 team was trying not to hold that dubious record.

The Saints’ offense looked a little better with Taysom Hill at the helm, scoring one touchdown, but also throwing an interception that was more an incredible play by the Cowboys’ defender than it was a bad throw by Hill. Dallas would find the end zone once in the half, and add two field goals for 13-7 halftime lead.

In the second half, the Saints started using Taysom Hill’s legs a bit more, gashing the Cowboys for big runs, but being let down by Hill’s inaccuracy as a passer. New Orleans would narrow the lead to 13-10 midway through the third quarter.

Despite playing well, the Saints’ defense would allow a 58-yard rushing touchdown, the longest rushing play allowed by New Orleans all season, giving Dallas a 20-10 lead going into the fourth quarter.

The Saints’ defense would give the offense more chances to get back in the game, with an interception of Dak Prescott by Marshon Lattimore. However, the pick would be followed by an interception of Taysom Hill by Cowboys safety Damontae Kazee on a tipped pass. A second interception by Trevon Diggs on New Orleans’ subsequent drive would basically finish the game, with New Orleans out of timeouts. Not content with three interceptions in the game, Hill would throw his fourth pick of the game to defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, giving Dallas a 27-10 lead with less than three minutes left in the game.

Deonte Harris would catch a garbage time 70-yard touchdown to put a little bit of perfume on the stench of the loss, the Saints’ fifth in a row. New Orleans falls to 5-7, while the Cowboys improve to 8-4 on the season.


Below is a live quarter-by-quarter description of how the game unfolded:


FIRST HALF

First Quarter

Cowboys win the toss and defer to the second half and Saints take over at their 25-yard line. Saints gain a first down and face a 3rd-and-10 at their own 43-yard line and fail to convert and punt.

Cowboys take over at their 23-yard line. Cowboys face a 3rd-and-10 immediately and fail to complete the pass and go three-and-out. Cowboys punt and Saints return it to their 30-yard line.

Saints face a 3rd-and-6 and Taysom Hill finds Lil’Jordan Humphrey for a 25 yards pass into Cowboys territory. Saints face a 3rd-and-8 from the Cowboys’ 38-yard line and fail to complete. New Orleans attempts a 56-yard field goal and Brett Maher misses wide right.

Cowboys take over at their 34-yard line. Dak Prescott completes a 9-yard pass into Saints’ territory. Cowboys face a 4th down at the Saints 43-yard line and fail to convert and turn the ball over on downs.

Saints quickly face a 3rd-and-7 and fail to convert and punt. Ceedee Lamb returns the punt to the Cowboys’ 20-yard line.

Cowboys quickly face a 3rd-and-7 and Dak Prescott finds Amari Cooper for 41 yards into Saints’ territory.

Prescott finds Ceedee Lamb for a pass to the goal line. Prescott finds Michael Gallup for a touchdown.

NO: 0 - DAL: 7

Saints take over at their own 25-yard line and after a false start penalty, Hill finds Juwan Johnson for a 27 yards pass to the 47-yard line.

Saints run one more play for 2 yards with Mark Ingram as the quarter ends.


Second Quarter

On third down, Taysom Hill runs for a first down into Cowboys territory. Taysom Hill then finds Lil’Jordan Humphrey for a touchdown.

NO: 7 - DAL: 7

Cowboys take over at their 25-yard line. On the first play, Ceedee Lamb burns Bradley Roby for 20 yards. Cowboys get into Saints’ territory on a pass to Malik Turner. After a penalty, the Cowboys face a 3rd-and-9 and stall at 4th-and-5. Greg Zuerlein makes a 55-yard field goal.

NO: 7 - DAL: 10

Saints take over at their 25-yard line. On first down, Deonte Harris gets 3 yards on a reverse play. New Orleans immediately faces a 3rd-and-8 and fail to convert. New Orleans punts and Trevon Diggs returns the ball to the Cowboys’ 30-yard line.

Dallas faces a 3rd-and-7 and P.J. Williams sacks Prescott and Cowboys are forced to punt. Deonte Harris returns the punt 17 yards to the Saints’ 34-yard line. After a holding penalty, the Saints are set back. On 3rd-and-9, Hill finds Tre’Quan Smith for a first down. Taysom finds Nick Vannett on a screen play inside the Cowboys’ 30-yard line. On a long pass to Kenny Stills, the Cowboys intercept the ball in the red zone at their 5-yard line.

Cowboys get out of the shadow of their end zone on a great catch by Michael Gallup. On 3rd-and-5 Prescott finds Lamb for a first down to midfield. On a pass interference on Paulson Adebo, Cowboys’ drive stays alive. Prescott finds Schultz inside the Saints’ red zone. On first and goal, the Cowboys are penalized for holding and are set back. Cowboys settle for a 34-yard field goal and lead by 6 at halftime.

NO: 7 - DAL: 13


SECOND HALF

Third Quarter

Cowboys take over at their 20-yard line. Dallas faces a 3rd-and-10 and Marshon Lattimore breaks up a pass to Michael Gallup to force a punt.

Saints take over at their 21-yard line. On 2nd down, Taysom Hill runs for 24 yards to the Cowboys’ 49-yard line. On 3rd-and-2, Hill runs for a first down and the Saints start using his legs and get near the red zone. Saints stall and Brett Maher makes a 42-yard field goal.

NO: 10 - DAL: 13

Cowboys start the drive at their 25-yard line. On 3rd-and-3, Cowboys cannot complete the pass and are forced into another punt. Deonte Harris returns the punt to the 20-yard line.

Saints are penalized for a horrendously wrong blindside block penalty call and are set back. New Orleans goes three-and-out and punts. NFL referees continue to be a total liability every game.

Cowboys take over at their 29-yard line. Two plays and a first down later, Dallas runs a toss play that Tony Pollard takes to the house for a 58-yard touchdown.

NO: 10 - DAL: 20

Saints take over at their 25-yard line. On 3rd-and-2, Taysom Hill runs for 23 yards into Cowboys’ territory. Hill runs again for a first down. New Orleans faces a third and short as the quarter expires.


Fourth Quarter

On 3rd-and-2, outstanding rookie linebacker Micah Parsons sacks Taysom Hill for a 13-yard loss, taking New Orleans out of field goal range. Blake Gillikin punts and pins the Cowboys at their 4-yard line.

Prescott finds Ceedee Lamb and Michael Gallup for first downs and quickly get into Saints’ territory. On 3rd-and-4 from the Saints’ 44-yard line, Saints tip a Prescott pass and force 4th down. Dallas punts.

Saints take over at their 13-yard line. Saints face a 3rd-and-6 and are called for a holding while being unable to complete the pass.

Cowboys take over at their 32-yard line. On third down, Marshon Lattimore intercepts Dak Prescott and the Saints take over at the Cowboys’ 48-yard line.

Saints face a 3rd-and-8 at the Cowboys’ 44-yard line and Deonte Harris drops a pass. Saints go for it on 4th down and Harris catches the pass this time for 12 yards and a first down. On the next play, Hill’s pass is tipped and safety Damontae Kazee intercepts the ball.

Cowboys take over at their 26-yard line, but go three-and-out and elect to punt.

Saints take over at their 24-yard line, but on the second play of the drive, Taysom Hill is intercepted by Trevon Diggs, de facto ending the game.

Cowboys take over at their 46-yard line and go three-and-out but force Saints to use their timeouts.

Saints go into their two-minute drill with 3:46 left on the clock. After a couple of first downs, Taysom Hill throws his fourth interception of the game, this time to Carlos Watkins, who returns it for a touchdown.

NO: 10 - DAL: 27

Saints take over at their 30-yard line, continuing to throw the ball. On the second play of the drive, Hill finds Deonte Harris for a catch-and-run of 70 yards for a touchdown.

NO: 17 - DAL: 27

Cowboys recover the onside kick and take over at the Saints’ 42-yard line. Dallas gains one first down and kneels on the ball for a 27-17 win.

Poll

Can the Saints right the ship with Taysom Hill at quarterback?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Yes, he just needs more reps at quarterback
    (29 votes)
  • 75%
    No, the season is done, tank for a high pick.
    (144 votes)
  • 8%
    A good burger always rights any ship
    (17 votes)
190 votes total Vote Now


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