The Dallas Cowboys stormed down the field on their opening drive of Sunday night’s game against New Orleans. A touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Terrance Williams gave the Cowboys an early lead.
This marked the first time all season the Cowboys had scored on an opening drive. The first quarter was also the first where the Cowboys did not have to overcome a DeMarco Murray fumble.
But even with the great start, Dallas fans had to be cautious about any optimism. This was the Saints. They were the team that walked all over the Cowboys last season in a 49-17 New Orleans win at the Superdome.
As it turns out, nobody needed to be cautious about being excited until the fourth quarter. Dallas scored 17 points in the second quarter to extend the lead to 24-0 at the half.
Meanwhile, the Saints punted twice, had a pass intercepted, and missed a field goal in the first half.
DeMarco Murray looked nearly unstoppable. Tony Romo did not need to set the world on fire, but he was effective. Everything that failed to work in the 2013 debacle worked on Sunday night.
Then came the fourth quarter. The Cowboys defense that had played so well all game gave up two touchdown drives, and a 31-3 lead became a 31-17 lead.
The Dallas offense stalled on three straight possessions in the third and fourth quarters.
Blow a 28-point lead in the fourth quarter? Surely not.
Well, no, it didn’t happen. The Dallas defense forced a fourth-down play with 7:45 remaining, and the Saints lined up for a punt. Dallas only had ten players on the field.
The Saints called a fake, and punter Thomas Morstead tried to throw a pass for the first down. He wound up face first on the ground.
Seven plays later, Romo hit Dez Bryant on an 18-yard touchdown pass, which iced the game.
This marked the 20th time the Cowboys had led by 24 or more points at the half. The team is now 20-0 in those games.
With the Eagles losing to the 49ers today, Dallas and Philadelphia are now tied for first in the NFC East.