Saints 30, Cowboys 27: My Top 10 Observer-ations
10. The end of the modest two-game winning streak also means the end of the disappointing season. At 3-8 the Cowboys are officially dead. Tony Romo should be put on injured reserve today.
9. Down 20-3 there was no way the Cowboys were going to win. Then up 27-23 with Roy Williams headed toward the end zone there was no way the Cowboys were going to lose. What a great game. What a crappy Thanksgiving.
8. If Marion the Librarian never gets another carry in a Cowboys' uniform I'm fine with it.
7. Still not sure what happened on Mat McBriar's quirky drop-kick-punt-thingy. Even former special teams coach Joe Avezzano couldn't explain it to me. I think it was ruled a fumble, that was then illegally kicked, and ultimately recovered by the Saints. Right? But it makes me wonder how Doug Flutie got away with a drop-kick extra point a couple years ago. If McBriar would've dropped the ball and then accidentally kicked it through the goal posts on a bounce would he have received three points? Sounds like a Thanksgiving research project for someone.
6. Under Jason Garrett the Cowboys are playing harder, playing smarter, playing better. Garrett is 3-0 on replay challenges. He was on the sidelines raising his arms and asking the crowd for more noise. And Thursday the Cowboys committed only four penalties for a season-low 19 yards. Those of you screaming that this team was overrated all season, do you now realize that it was merely undercoached?
5. Dez Bryant had six passes thrown his way and 0 catches. His sideline rant made me uneasy. There's a fine line between a leader like Michael Irvin wanting to win and a self-indulgent a-hole like Terrell Owens simply wanting the ball. Because Bryant's temper tantrum was on display in a game his team was leading and playing well, he came off looking more T.O. than Playmaker.
4. While I'm praising Garrett I won't forget to rip him, either. Late in the second quarter the Cowboys forced an incompletion on a New Orleans 3rd-and-1 at Dallas' 47. But instead of 4th-and-1 and likely forcing a mid-field punt, Garrett accepted a Saints' holding penalty. Leading 17-3, Drew Brees completed a 28-yard pass on 3rd-and-11 to set up a Saints' field goal. New Orleans, by the way, won the game by three points.
3. Thought David Buehler had nailed the 59-yarder to
win tie the game at 30-30. On a day in which he made a 53-yard field goal and boomed four touchbacks, Buehler's last kick was long enough -- good from 65? -- but just curled left at the last moment.
2. Sucky thing for Roy Williams is that he had a great game. Hands catches. Blocking downfield. He was really good until his final, fatal catch. Hard to fault a guy for instincts to run and to score, but we have to anyway. Roy falls down at the 15 and the Cowboys are 4-7 with momentum heading into December. I do, however, given him credit for talking to the media afterward and accepting blame for the loss. Same for Terence Newman. Burned on a 55-yard completion on New Orleans' late-game 3rd-and-10, but man enough to fess up to it. The Cowboys didn't earn a win yesterday, but they did gain some accountability.
1. I know there aren't supposed to be moral victories in sports -- especially in a Cowboys' season that began with Super Bowl aspirations -- but while Thursday night's loss was disappointing, it wasn't embarrassing. Considering the early 17-0 deficit and where this team was at the beginning of November, that's a huge achievement.
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