Rapid Reaction: Saints 30, Cowboys 27
By Calvin Watkins
ARLINGTON, Texas — One of the best Thanksgiving Day games in Cowboys history ended when kicker David Buehler was wide left on a 59-yard field goal try with 25 seconds left. The Cowboys’ two-game win streak ended with a 30-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Thursday. It was the first loss of the Jason Garrett era, and raised all sorts of questions about him as a coach and the inability of his team to finish a big game.
What it means: The Cowboys lost a close game, but one thing is certain: They are playing hard for their interim coach. With this team playing well, it gives owner Jerry Jones more confidence to possibly give Garrett the job full time in 2011.
Williams’ fumble sets up wining score: The Cowboys had taken a 27-23 lead in the fourth quarter and were on the verge of trying to close out the game. On a third-and-6 from the Cowboys’ 42, Jon Kitna found Roy Williams with a long pass play, but he fumbled as he was tackled. Malcolm Jenkins forced the fumble at the Saints’ 11 with 3:03 to play. The Saints used the turnover to score. Drew Brees connected on a 12-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston to push the score to 30-27.
Bryant has issues: Rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant finished with zero catches on the day. It seemed as if he had some issues communications wise down the stretch. It could be him being a rookie and seeing a specific coverage he hasn’t seen before. At least twice, Kitna yelled at Bryant after there appeared to be miscommunication on pass plays on the final drive of the game. The Cowboys have to fix this quick.
Cowboys’ defense plays well in second half: After giving up 20 first-half points, the Cowboys’ defense shut the Saints down in the second half, with the exception of the frantic final drive for the visitors. Gerald Sensabaugh had an interception, Jay Ratliff a key third-down sack and Terence Newman some pass breakups. The Cowboys don’t blitz much and played plenty of zone, which has been effective the past three weeks.
What’s next: The Cowboys will take the weekend off, rest and then visit the Colts on Dec. 5.