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Cowboys vs. Saints Week 13 game: Cowboys pick off Drew Brees, seal 13-10 victory, move to 7-5! WE DAT!

SB Nation logo SB Nation 11/30/2018 Dave Halprin
a man wearing a football uniform © Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys pulled it off and really did punch the Saints in the mouth.

Fourth Quarter

Just when everything looks so bleak after that costly turnover...Jourdan Lewis answers the call! INTERCEPTION...NO TIMEOUTS...GAME! Cowboys 7-5! WE DAT!

As we have seen before, as Dak giveth, he also can taketh away...You can’t do that Dak...EVER!

The Cowboys pick up a huge roughing the passer call on Von Bell, just blatantly roughing that man!

You know what time it is...FEED HIM!

Dak Prescott fuels this drive by getting Cooper involved again. After Prescott criminally overthrows a streaking Michael Gallup, he redeems himself on third down:

Anthony Brown continues his big night on the corner blitz and Brees is SACKED! Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith with back-to-back stops to get off the field. Saints punt the ball back and the officials make a horrendous spotting call at the one-inch line. The ball clearly hit the line for the touchback. Jason Garrett gets it overturned on the challenge to start at their own 20.

The Cowboys can’t pick up the third and long and are forced to punt. So far, the Saints have flipped the script on Dallas in the second-half. The Cowboys defense finally gets to Drew Brees as Lawrence gets the strip-sack, Tyrone Crawford with the recovery but...Randy...Gregory...what are you doing?!

Third Quarter

With 1:08 left in the third, Dallas begins at their own 25. They start by going backwards as Xavier Su’a-Filo is called for holding. Zeke can’t get much as we go to the final quarter.

Within seconds...Gregory’s penalty proves costly as Brees finds his receiver Kirkwood for 30-yards and the score. New Orleans make it a three-point game as the third quarter is coming to a close. Poor officiating on the touchdown as it’s a total push off and big no call.

The Saints are getting plenty of help from the Cowboys defense as Byron Jones is flagged twice, giving New Orleans more chances. Just as Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith get the defense off the field, Randy Gregory roughs the punter, more fresh downs for New Orleans. That’s the fourth penalty on Dallas in one drive.

The Cowboys can’t get much going after Sheldon Rankins breaks through the line to sack Prescott. The Cowboys are forced to punt as Chris Jones pins New Orleans deep at their own 10. This line has struggled to protect the quarterback tonight:

The Saints start with the football and start to come alive. Brees gets the rock to his go-to guy Michael Thomas as the Saints convert their first third-down of the night. Randy Gregory gives a helping hand when he’s flagged for a face mask. At the Dallas-20, the Saints stall again as Tyrone Crawford keeps Kamara bottled up. Saints get on the boards with a 23-yard field goal. Cowboys 13, Saints 3.

Halftime

Second Quarter

Amari Cooper keeps the Cowboys offense churning into Saints’ territory. The Saints defense buckles down again at the two-minute warning as they sack Prescott again, he fumbles but recovers it. Dak has 10 fumbles this season but he somehow escaped preserving the field goal. Cowboys up 13-0 after one half but there’s a lot left to play. What a long drive for Dallas though:

Dallas will start at their own two-yard line but the ball-control Cowboys are on a mission. Blake Jarwin picks up a third down before Dak takes charge on 2nd and 13:

4th and goal, down 10...it’s Payton ya’ll...Alvin Kamara meets DeMarcus Lawrence who says No points for you!

3rd and goal at Dallas-4...Kamara is DENIED by Jaylon Smith!

2nd and goal...Mark Ingram is turned away!

First and goal from the Dallas-7...INCOMPLETE!

On the Saints first play, Brees looks for his man and the catch is made but knocked out immediately. It’s ruled incomplete on the field but it looked like a Saints fumble and recovered by New Orleans in the red zone. Sean Payton challenges it and it’s overturned, Saints set up with first-and-goal, down 10 points.

How did that happen, Amari?!

After Dak finds Amari Cooper for five-yards, he FUMBLES the ball and the Saints recover it.

Saints special teams unit picks up a flag for unnecessary roughness, pinning them deep at their own nine. Brees can get the offense going and it’s another three-and-out. Again, the New Orleans kicking team is flagged, giving Dallas a few extra yards to begin their next drive.

First Quarter

Apple is flagged a third time on an attempt to Cole Beasley...setting Dallas up in the red zone. Dak finds Zeke and he takes it in himself for the TOUCHDOWN! Cowboys up 10-0 at the end of one.

Dallas’ offense goes back to work and Prescott finds Gallup again for 14-yards. Apple is flagged again. Elliott picks up some yardage and Dak gets that man involved, you know who? Amari Cooper...MOVE THE CHAINS!

With a second-chance, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram can’t find much room. Brees looks for Michael Thomas on 3rd and 6 but the coverage is stiff. The pass is ruled incomplete but Sean Payton unwisely challenges the call, incompletion upheld, Saints will punt again,

The Cowboys snag a holding call that sets them back on the next drive. Elliott gets half back but the Saints defensive line beats this makeshift Dallas line again. It’s sack number two for New Orleans, time to tighten up the protection.

Down three, Drew Brees goes to work and it’s a quick trip as the Dallas defense shuts this drive down in 35 seconds. A quick three-and-out is about as good as you can hope to start for the Dallas Cowboys defense.

The Saints’ red zone defense buckles down as they get to Dak Prescott forcing the field goal. Brett Maher gives the Cowboys a 3-0 lead but you really need six every time against New Orleans.

On 2nd and 8 in Saints’ territory, Dak finds Gallup deep down field for 40-yards, setting up 1st and goal at the 6!

Cowboys start on offense and Ezekiel Elliott finds it pretty difficult to move the ball on the ground. Elliott does pick up the 3rd and 1 to keep the drive alive but the Cowboys face a 3rd and long two short runs later. On 3rd and 8, Dak Prescott connects with Michael Gallup for 13-yards. Saints’ CB Eli Apple picks up some yellow laundry for PI but Dallas declines.

Pregame Inactives:

Holy blindside protection, Batman! Cowboys and Saints will be forced to make due with backups at left tackle.

Cam Fleming starts in place of Tyron Smith for another week, Connor Williams is listed as the backup.

The wily veteran Jermon Bushrod will get the nod for New Orleans. It’s a big opportunity for Randy Gregory, let’s see if he can take advantage.

The Official Lists include:

Dallas Cowboys: OT Tyron Smith, DT David Irving, LB Sean Lee, LB Chris Covington, WR Tavon Austin, QB Mike White, TE Geoff Swaim

New Orleans Saints: WR Brandon Marshall, OT Terron Armstead, DE Trey Hendrickson, LB Manti Te’o, DL Mitch Loewen, C Will Clapp, WR Tommylee Lewis

The Cowboys aren’t exactly in must-win mode anymore, at least for this week. Part of that has to do with ascending to first place in the NFC East while Washington falls apart, and part of that is because no one wants to call it a must-win game against the 10-1 Saints! So for this week, we won’t call it a must-win game.

Still, it can be called a measuring stick game. If the new-look Cowboys with Amari Cooper and a re-juiced offensive line want everybody to stand up and take notice, knocking off the Saints on prime-time would be a very good way of accomplishing that. It won’t come easy. The Saints are a juggernaut on offense, all conducted by the masterful Drew Brees.

Here are some Saints offensive stats courtesy of the NFL:

• SAINTS lead NFL in points per game (37.2) & point differential (+153) in 2018.

• QB DREW BREES had 4 TD passes vs. 1 INT for 111.9 rating last week. Aims for his 5th in row with 3+ TDs & 110+ rating. In his past 4 vs. Dal., has completed 136 of 170 (76 pct.) for 1,537 yards (384.3 per game) with 11 TDs vs. 1 INT for 119.3 rating. Leads NFL in comp. pct. (76.4) & rating (127.3) in 2018.

• RB ALVIN KAMARA had 98 scrimmage yards in Week 12. In his past 6, has 575 scrimmage yards (95.8 per game) with 9 TDs (6 rush, 3 rec.). Aims for his 5th in row on road with 75+ scrimmage yards & TD. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 15 scrimmage TDs & 5th with 1,225 scrimmage yards in 2018. RB MARK INGRAM has 348 scrimmage yards (116 per game) & 2 rush TDs in 3 career meetings. Has 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec.) in his past 3.

• WR MICHAEL THOMAS ranks 2nd in receptions (86) & 4th in rec. yards (1,080) this season. Has 3 TD catches in his past 3 on road.

Fortunately, the Cowboys defense is pretty good.

• DE DEMARCUS LAWRENCE had .5 sack & 1st-career INT last week. Has 2.5 sacks, FF & INT in his past 2 Thursday games. Had sack in last meeting. Rookie LB LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH led team with 9 tackles in Week 12. Is only NFL rookie with 90+ tackles (91) & 5+ PD (7) in 2018. LB JAYLON SMITH has 25 tackles, sack, 2 FFs & FR in his past 3 at home.

And with Amari Cooper helping out the offense, there is a decent chance the Cowboys can pull off a huge upset at home.

What You Need To Know

Important links: Cowboys depth chart | Roster

Date: Thursday, November 29, 2018

Game time: 8:20 PM EST

Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

TV channel: FOX/NFL Network

Coverage Map: 506 Sports

Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter), Kristina Pink (Field reporter)

Radio: 105.3 The Fan | Full listings | Westwood One | SIRIUS: 81 (NO), 83 (Dal) | XM: 226 (NO), 225 (Dal)

Streaming: Amazon Prime | Fubo | NFL.com GamePass (audio only during game) | Yahoo Sports app

Cowboys record: (6-5)

Saints record: (10-1)

Odds: Dallas +7

Prediction: Dallas 27 - New Orleans 31

Enemy blog: Canal Street Chronicles

Twitter: @BloggingTheBoys

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