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.