The Dallas Cowboys did the improbable Thursday night when they defeated the red-hot New Orleans Saints 13-10 at AT&T Stadium. No, it wasn’t the fact that the Cowboys pulled off the victory that was shocking, it was that they held MVP frontrunner Drew Brees and the high powered Saints offense to just 10 points.
Despite the best efforts of Randy Gregory, the Saints offense was never able to find sustained success. It was imperative for Dallas to get off to a good start and they did just that. On the defensive side of things, DeMarcus Lawrence and company backed up their trash talk, forcing three straight punts to start the game including two three and outs.
Offensively, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott lead the offense to scores on two of their first three possessions for an early 10-0 advantage. Perhaps the real turning point in the game, however, came with ten minutes to go in the second quarter. Sean Payton elected to go for it on 4th and goal from the one-yard line. The play never had a chance as the dominate Dallas defense stuffed Alvin Kamara for a loss.
Prescott would then engineer a clock killing 16 play drive spanning 70 yards and over 9 minutes. While the drive would only end in a field goal, it kept Drew Brees on the sideline for almost the rest of the first half, taking a 13-0 lead into the locker room.
13 points would prove to be enough. The Dallas offense was unable to find much success in the second half, but the defense though continued their suffocating effort from the first half. If it wasn’t for multiple boneheaded penalties by Randy Gregory, the Cowboys defense very well could have held the Saints to just 3 points for the game.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys offense gave Drew Brees and company one last chance to steal the victory when Prescott was strip-sacked by Cameron Jordan who also recovered the fumble.
New Orleans took over with 2:35 left on the clock down by just three points. Now in the past, this is where the Cowboys defense would finally break and surrender a late touchdown or field goal. These are not the same Cowboys. Jourdan Lewis quickly ended the Saints hopes with a fantastic game-sealing interception.
WHAT AN INTERCEPTION BY JOURDAN LEWIS 😱😱😱 pic.twitter.com/Pp5LMG0eFC
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) November 30, 2018
When all was said and done this defense would hold the Saints to just 176 total yards. Bress was 18 for 28 for a paltry 127 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Karmara and Mark Ingram combined for just 63 yards rushing. An absolutely dominant performance by the Cowboys defense and one that could propel them to be even better down the stretch.
Dallas will now get a well deserved ten-day break after playing three games in eleven days. Following the mini-bye, the Cowboys will take on division rival Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. After that, they will finish the season at Indianapolis, home against Tampa Bay, and finally on the road against the Giants.
If the Cowboys are able to get by the Eagles and Giants that will guarantee them 9 wins and a 5-1 division record. One would think that would be enough to secure the NFC East crown, but with the roll this team is on a 3-1 or 4-0 finish is not out of the question.
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