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Week 12 New Orleans Saints vs Dallas Cowboys Postgame

Week 12 New Orleans Saints vs Dallas Cowboys Postgame

Matt Weill
 
Week 12 New Orleans Saints vs Dallas Cowboys Postgame Analysis
 
Dallas,TX—Aaron Rodgers should give NFL fans another spelling lesson perhaps; everyone needs to “R-E-L-A-X…relax”. This is not the time to have massive overreactions to the Cowboys 13-10  win over the previously 10-1 New Orleans Saints in Dallas on Thursday. Does this win mean the Cowboys have won their division?  Hell, even a playoff spot? No. This does, though, give them a great OPPORTUNITY to control their own destiny within the division.
 
Seems like just yesterday that every expert on earth said the Cowboys were dead and buried. Are those same people now calling the Cowboys legitimate Super Bowl contenders?
 
The Cowboys came into this game confident on the offensive side of the ball after the recent performances from RB Ezekiel Elliot coupled with the recent acquisition of WR Amari Cooper. Cooper seemed to be playing phenomenal football again; looking like the player people expected. Remember, we saw him catch over 120 passes his final year at Alabama (a run first team) and have back-to-back 1,000 yard receiving years his first two years in the league. Last night, however, reality visited the Cowboys. The offense entered the game near the bottom of the league and only managed to put up 13 points. The run game didn’t help anything as Cooper had his worst game as a Cowboy. He made a crucial fumble that swung the momentum of the entire game. The Boys, though, did score enough to win ,which in this business is all that counts. The only real positive I  saw was from offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan who has been criticized in the past for not giving the ball to his best player more often. He showed commitment to running Elliot. Despite getting only 76 yards on 23 carries (3.3 avg), Linehan didn’t back off. That is promising.
 
The Cowboys played incredible defense; smothering, intense, and hungry. At this point everyone knows what a stud rookie Kyle Vander Esch is at linebacker but we need to give the secondary credit, too, specifically Byron Jones, Jourdan Lewis, and Chibode Awuzie.
The backbone of the defense’s success is MLB Jaylon Smith. He was a top-5 talent before destroying his knee during Notre Dame’s bowl game—his last game before the draft. As a result, he would miss his rookie year, meaning any team drafting him needed to be patient. In the second round the Cowboys got him in an absolute steal. Jerry Jones deserves credit for the recent draft choices. All the above players are people he’s drafted. Hmmm, maybe he’s not so crazy.
 
With all that said, the game ball has GOT to go to Demarcus Lawrence. Earlier in the week ,Lawrence was quoted as saying “You hit a [expletive] in the mouth and they’re not doing what they’re regularly doing, putting up 50 points, they start to get a little distressed. Now, you got them where you want them at and then you choke their ass out…”  That’s actually great to hear (strictly talking about the behavior within the white lines) . He threw politically correct language to the wind and spoke his truth. But, then he backed every last word up with his play on the field and it made watching him last night inspirational.  Lawrence was an absolute force that took over the game.
 
The Saints looked sloppy and lethargic for much of the game as MVP candidate Drew Brees struggled mightily. However, they may deserve a bit of a pass after a 10 game win streak and having to travel on a short week for a Thursday night game. They will have to fix some blocking schemes among other things, however, come playoff time they will be in a prime position to make a run. 
 
One final note, I’m no believer in snitching but somebody needs to suggest drug testing Randy Gregory. That dude was just not right, witnessed by his multiple bonehead plays . He almost cost his team the win.
 

Matt Weill

November 30th, 2018

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