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Cowboys Report Card vs. Saints
Their pass rush did improve against the Saints, at least early, with three sacks of Drew Brees. We had tossed the ball to C.J. So moments after scoring, Spiller found Brees and gave him the ball with which the star QB had thrown his 400th TD. Brees’ 400th touchdown came on an 80-yard pass to C.J. Spiller, a touchdown that slammed the door on Dallas without even giving the Cowboys a shot in OT. “He’s probably the best teammate I’ve ever played with – just his preparation”. A minor procedure on his knee robbed Spiller of most of training camp and the season opener against Arizona; when he returned, he occupied a niche part of the playbook as the Saints tried to work him back to full strength. But even with New Orleans struggling, winning the Superdome was going to be a tall order for a Cowboys squad so riddled with injuries. “We were kind of in a four vertical route and it is kind of a play that stems off of the one we had run earlier”.
Payton: “I think the tackle (Spiller) breaks against the safety was huge”.
“We had to really earn it on both sides of the ball, all the way around”, Brees said. “If C.J. gets behind somebody, nobody’s catching him”.
When New Orleans then tied the game in the third quarter, it again came after what appeared to be another forced turnover by the Cowboys, this time the officials first ruling that linebacker Andrew Gachkar had recovered a fumble.
“I’m always focused on staying in tune, because you never know when you are going to go out there”, Spiller said. “Looked up at the Jumbo tron and made sure there was nobody coming”. He finished throwing for 359 yards and two touchdowns. Spiller caught five passes for 99 yards. On the go-ahead touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter, Brees hit Spiller for a 9-yard gain on an nearly identical play, with similar personnel and alignment (see below).
Payton said it was clearly a back-and-forth game and it was not a clean win. “He’s got another plan, ‘” Brees said.
Brees completed 32 of 39 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns.
At this point, it is fair to wonder if the Eagles are good enough to string together enough wins to keep things interesting. It’s about time we pulled it together and got a win.
But when the team playing at home features a future Hall of Fame quarterback managing the game in the final minutes while the team playing on the road is getting by with their backup behind center, well, the outcome would seemingly be inevitable.
Robinson put the Saints up 20-13 with a 1-yard run midway through the fourth quarter. The Saints starting quarterback had missed the team’s game versus the Carolina Panthers just last week due to a “bruised or partially torn rotator cuff”.
Kick returner and running back Lance Dunbar has been helped off the field with an apparent knee injury. Coach Jason Garrett said Dunbar would undergo tests Monday…. The Saints had stopped the drive when Dallas quarterback Brandon Weeden threw incomplete on third-and-10 from the Cowboys’ 20, but Breaux was whistled for illegal use of hands to give Dallas a first down.