Dallas 24, New Orleans 17: Big Exhale After a Big Upset

The Cowboys’ 24-17 win over the Saints on Saturday night featured expected heroes. One hero: DeMarcus Ware who returned one week after suffering a neck injury to record two sacks. The second of those sacks occurred with less than six seconds remaining, securing the Dallas win.

Another hero: a gutsy Tony Romo, who threw for 312 yards and a TD.

Marion Barber didn’t fill the role of closer, but his two touchdowns helped the Cowboys to take a 24-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Miles Austin also came up huge, catching 7 passes for 139 yards and the first score of the game.

Along the way, some heroes of the unsung variety emerged. Kevin Ogletree caught two passes for 23 yards, while tight end John Phillips caught three for 40. Anthony Spencer might live in Ware’s shadow, but Spencer has become a force himself. He had six tackles and two big sacks.

After most of the heroics, Dallas still had to play the fourth quarter, which nearly every Cowboy fan must have feared. The 24-3 lead became a 24-17 lead, and some ugliness reared its head. Roy Williams dropped a third down pass that would have extended a Dallas drive. And with the Cowboys in position to put the game away with what was little more than an extra point, Nick Folk missed badly by banking the ball off the right upright.

Just when it appeared that the Saints would make yet another comeback (one eerily similar to their win over Washington), the Dallas defense came through. Drew Brees could not get set in the pocket on the Saints’ final drive, and Ware’s sack meant that New Orleans would not see any miracles.

Dallas improves to 9-5, ensuring the team’s fifth consecutive winning season.

  • Mr. Mulligan

    Please put Ogletree in, instead of Roy…

  • Mike Little

    All aboard bandwaggoners,doubting Thomas’s,and the rest of us give ups.I guess it’s safe to pull the fork out of “our” Cowboys again.Yes,I am claiming them again.Nick Folk made all the difference in this victory didn’t he?I haven’t seen shanks that bad in warmups since Costner on the driving range in Tin Cup.Who did that?Sorry Nick,Santa’s gonna fill your stocking with your last paycheck for Christmas.All I want for a football Christmas is two more performances across the board to finish this season off,then let’s talk about playoffs on a serious note. Outstanding coaching,and execution that we have been looking for all season long.Game balls to both offensive,and defensive lines.Good protection,and running lanes.Felix and Marion are back healthy running with quickness and toughness.Miles you’re the man.Great way to send a message with a bomb to start things off.Tony,you played solid,mistake free, smart football.Look’s like our guy is growing up a bit.DeMarcus,words don’t do you justice,you are the heart and soul of this team.Kudos to Mike Jenkins.This secondary would be pretty average without him.Really nice,feel good win Dallas.HO,HO,HO,MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  • Thanks for the comment, Mike. I’ll be the first to admit that I expected the team to be 8-6 as of last night. Notwithstanding Folk’s miss and Roy’s drop, that was a gutsy win.

  • Mike Little

    I almost forgot about Anthony Spencer.If he could do that on a regular basis,that would make this defense very,very good.37 points given up the last two weeks is impressive.Thanks,Mr.Fix It.This coulda,shouda team could send a message to itself that they may have what it takes.A win up in D.C.,and a win at home against the Eagles would speak confident volumes for the club’s physche,and who knows what could happen.Since unemployment is high,there should be plenty of field goal kickers out there qualified to kick 24 yard attempts successfully right?

  • Jason Neighbors

    It’s never as bad as it seems after a devastating loss like the Giants, and it’s never as good as it seems like the huge win over the Saints. Everything rides on these next two weeks. But they showed heart Saturday night, and that was encouraging. Bottom line- they still control their own destiny. Win out and we are division champs. Honestly, I still don’t know what to expect from this team. They have to play hardball, smashmouth, physical football to win these next two games. If they play with the same intensity they did against the Saints, I think they will be alright. But we’ve never really seen them do that consistenly. I just hope they learned something from that game.

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