By Robert Tily – Dallas Cowboys Writer
This was a defensive game much like last year in Dallas the difference this year was the Saints managed to come away with the win.
It’s rare you see the only team to score a touchdown in a game loose but that’s what happened on SNF with the Cowboys getting the only touchdown of the game through a Zeke Elliott 1 yard run, but the Saints getting 12 points off the leg of Lutz.
Both defenses came to play with the Cowboys getting 5 sacks and for the most part keeping every play in front of them and not getting beat for touchdown, and the Saints stifling the Dallas run game (20 carries for 45 yards) and putting Prescott under pressure on almost every drop back.
Ultimately Bridgewater was able to get enough done with short passes to Michael Thomas 9/9 for 95 yards and Kamara killing the Cowboys hopes by draining the clock in the 4th quarter by converting key third downs.
Cowboys player of the game
Robert Quinn he was quick, powerful, athletic and recorded two sacks on the day. He looks like he will be a real handful this season and get at least 10 sacks
Saints player of the game
I could have gone one of two ways with this: the elite receiver who caught all his passes, Michael Thomas, kept coming up for key completions or Alvin Kamara, who just seemed to break the back of the Cowboys’ defense on each third down. I’ve got to give it to Kamara who, after his monster game last week, had more modest numbers against the Cowboys defense. But the devil is in the detail and sometimes the numbers don’t show the whole picture. He kept coming through for the Saints, breaking off runs just long enough to continue the drive. This was especially evident in the fourth quarter when the Saints kept converting to keep the ball out of Dak Prescott’s hands with only a two-point lead.
What to watch for next week
The Cowboys take on the Green Bay Packers in AT&T stadium in Dallas. This will be a key game, with both teams coming off somewhat surprising defeats. Both teams are at 3-1 so the winner of this will make a big statement. Will the Cowboys be able to get the run going after managing only 45 yards on the ground? And how will the Packers manage if WR Davante Adams is ruled out. Adams who had a monster game against the Eagles but is now out with turf toe and is considered day to day.
The Saints next play against the 2-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who scored a staggering 55 points against a tough Los Angeles Rams defense. Will the Saints be able to contain Winston who threw for four touchdowns against the Rams? Will Bridgewater be able to keep them in the game if it does become a shootout as the Buccaneers have scored 86 points in their last two games and look to be flying on offense. The key for the Saints will be the same as in their victory against the Cowboys: to get consistent pressure up front to force the throws quickly while limiting the run game. If they can do that and slow the game down, they should be able to restrict the Buccaneers.
The Bucs will look to push on and continue their high-flying, high-scoring attack. They’ve just played a solid defense and managed to put up 55 points so will feel confident about doing the same to the Saints. They also have the number one pass rusher in Shaq Barrett, who also leads the NFL with nine sacks.
(Feature Photo – Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)