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Sunday, November 10, 2013
Halftime report: Saints 28, Cowboys 10

By Mike Triplett

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints lead the Dallas Cowboys 28-10 at halftime. Here are a few thoughts on the action so far:

Patient offense: Believe it or not, the Saints have been taking a patient approach on offense. But everything is working for them. They’ve had the ball for 20:39 in the first 30 minutes, with 252 passing yards on 30 attempts and 77 rushing yards on 15 attempts. They’re 6 of 7 on third downs.

Quarterback Drew Brees (26-of-30, 252 yards, three TDs, zero INTs) is having a monster night. So are running backs Pierre Thomas (eight carries for 49 yards, six catches for 19 yards and a TD) and Darren Sproles (four carries for 13 yards and a TD, seven catches for 76 yards and a TD). And so is receiver Marques Colston (six catches for 94 yards and a TD).

Dominant passing defense: The Saints’ run defense was shaky at times -- especially on one long touchdown drive -- allowing Dallas’ DeMarco Murray to run for 80 yards on 11 carries. But the Cowboys’ passing attack has been non-existent. Tony Romo has completed 3 of 9 passes for 20 yards.

Cornerback Keenan Lewis is doing an outstanding job while shadowing dangerous receiver Dez Bryant in coverage. And the Saints are also double-teaming Bryant quite a bit, especially close to the red zone.

Graham quiet: Saints tight end Jimmy Graham has three catches for 21 yards, but he has been in and out of the lineup. There’s no indication that he’s being bothered by injuries. Perhaps the Saints are leaving him out when they want to run the ball.

Ingram frustrated: One Saints player not getting heavily involved tonight is running back Mark Ingram. He dropped a pass on a checkdown in the first quarter, leading to a chorus of boos from the home crowd. Then he was later flagged for a delay of game penalty after slamming the ball in a frustration release after a 13-yard gain. He has three carries for 15 yards.