Thursday, November 25, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Saints 30, Cowboys 27
By Calvin Watkins
ARLINGTON -- One of the best Thanksgiving Day games in Cowboys history ended when kicker David Buehler was wide left on a 59-yard field goal try with 25 seconds left. The Cowboys' two-game win streak ended with a 30-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Thursday evening. It was the first loss of the Jason Garrett era.
What it means: The Cowboys are playing hard for the interim coach. With this team playing well, it gives owner Jerry Jones more confidence to give Garrett the job full time in 2011.
Roy E. Williams' fumble sets up wining score: The Cowboys had taken a 27-23 lead in the fourth quarter and were on the verge of trying to close out the game. On a third and six from the 42, Jon Kitna found Williams with a long pass play and Williams fumbled as he was tackled. Malcolm Jenkins forced the fumble at the Saints' 11 with 3:03 left. The Saints used the turnover to score. Drew Brees connected on a 12-yard touchdown pass to Lance Moore to push the score to 30-27.
Dez Bryant has issues: The rookie receiver finished with zero catches. But it was his inability to know what to do several times down the stretch that gives the Cowboys pause. At least twice, Kinta yelled at Bryant after there appeared to be miscommunication on pass plays. The Cowboys have to fix this quick.
Cowboys defense plays well in second half: After giving up 20 first-half points, the Dallas defense shut the Saints down in the second half, with the exception of the frantic final drive of the game for the visitors. Gerald Sensabaugh had a interception, Jay Ratliff a key third-down sack, Terence Newman had some pass breakups. The Cowboys don't blitz much, and play more zone than before, but it's been effective the past three weeks.
What's next: The Cowboys will take the weekend off. They visit the Colts next Sunday.