in

Cowboys Nostalgia: Who Dat? Dat the Cowboys

Although they lead the all time series with the 15-10, recent shows that New Orleans has been anything but The Big Easy to the Dallas . The Saints have taken 7 of the last 8 meetings with Dallas, including last December’s 34-31 overtime shootout. The outlier, however, was a victory that Cowboys have still not forgotten, one that was a rare dent on the Saints’ season.

To kick off of the 2009 season, fans were treated to the NFL’s two remaining undefeated teams playing on before Sunday. On Thursday, the kept their streak alive, defeating the in 35-31 thriller (yes, the Jaguars were actually contenders at one point!) and the Saints were scheduled to take on the Cowboys on Saturday night, December 19. Many experts had given the game to the Saints, and few could blame them. Dallas was coming off brutal back to back losses, further exaggerating the legend that they were unable to win in December. Following a painful 31-24 loss to the divisional rival , the Cowboys fell at home to the 20-17. They were barely holding to a playoff spot, and things only looked bleak going into New Orleans, especially at the Superdome. Now the Saints had been challenged before the Dallas game, but no one figured Dallas would be the one to help the 1972 breathe easier. They came in boasting offensive weapons like QB , RB Reggie Bush, WR Marques Colston, and plenty of other names to give teams nightmares. They were coming a 26-23 win over rival Atlanta, which required a game winning field goal by K Garrett Hartley. By kickoff, the 13-0 Saints were 7.5 favorites over the 8-5 Cowboys, who did receive good news when it was revealed , who was carted off the field late in the San Diego game, was ready to play.

The game got off to a shocking start…the Saints high powered offense got the ball first but went three and out. Starting at their own 21, Tony Romo got the Cowboys to midfield, where he found on a 50 yard strike to put Dallas up 7-0. Many expected a quick New Orleans retaliation, but the Saints again went three and out…the first time they had started a game with back to back three and outs. After returned a Thomas Morestead punt 28 yards to the Dallas 40, Romo engineered another scoring drive, getting the Cowboys into the on a 26 yard strike to the Saints 15. Three plays later, RB , ripped all week for not scoring during the Charger game, punched it in from 3 yards out, his first touchdown in seven weeks. Though the Cowboys were up 14-0 after the 1st quarter, the raucous Saints crowd was not panicking. Carolina had jumped out to a 14-0 lead after one on New Orleans six weeks ago, and the Saints ended up winning that one 30-20. The Cowboys did give up a 34 yard Hartley field goal in the second, but negated that with a 44 yarder by K . Folk’s field goal was set up by Ware’s strip and sack of Brees, whose fumble put Dallas on the New Orleans 24. The Cowboys were up 17-3 at the half, and talks of an upset began to circulate.

On their first 2nd half possession, the Cowboys scored on a 13 play, 74 yard drive that lasted exactly seven minutes. Barber scored his 2nd touchdown of the day, and the Cowboys had a 24-3 lead after three. However, Brees and the Saints offense finally started to wake up. Brees engineered a 9 play, 80 yard drive that made it a 24-10 game, with RB Mike Bell punching in the score from one yard out. ’s drop led the Cowboys to another punt, and Brees again took the Saints on a scoring drive, this one going 70 yards in 7 plays. Brees threw the score himself this time, a 7 yard pass to WR Lance Moore that sent the Superdome in a frenzy.

The Cowboys got the ball back after a Morestead touchback and quickly faced 3rd and 7. Romo found Miles Austin for a 32 yard gain that put Dallas back into New Orleans territory. They went even deeper on the very next play, a 23 yard hookup with TE . Not only was Dallas moving the ball, but they were taking time off the clock as well, forcing New Orleans to start calling their timeouts. Eventually the Saints, after using all their timeouts, forced the Cowboys into a field goal, sending Folk and the rest of the unit out. Folk had not had a good warm up session in the Superdome, and NFL Network was kind enough to play a clip of it before he lined up for a 24 yarder. Folk’s attempt clanged off the right upright, and New Orleans got the ball back. It was the 2nd time in 3 weeks that Saints fans had seemed a situation like this play out, as ’s miss from 23 yards gave the Saints the opportunity to pull off a comeback win against Washington. As for Folk, it ended up being his final kick as a member of the Cowboys. He was let go two days later.

Given new life with 2:16 to go, Brees tried to keep the undefeated streak alive. On 4th and 10, he found Colston for a 14 yard gain. Brees eventually worked his way to the Dallas 42, where the Saints faced 2nd and 10 with 12 seconds to go. Brees dropped back and searched for an open receiver downfield….but the ball never made it there. Out of nowhere came…well, Ware. The then- sacked and stripped Brees for a second time, and the ball was recovered by , sealing a 24-17 win for the Cowboys. Romo finished the game 22-34 for 312 yards and a touchdown, with his favorite receiver being Austin who nabbed 7 catches for 139 yards and a TD. Brees, despite his turnovers, finished 29-45 for 298 yards, a touchdown and an interception to .

 

The momentum was huge for the Cowboys. After defeating high powered New Orleans offense, the defense posted back to back shutouts of Washington and Philadelphia en route to the East division title. Even sweeter, they picked up their first playoff win in over a decade, defeating those same Eagles in the NFC round. Sadly, a rematch with the Saints was not to be as the Cowboys fell to the in the . New Orleans, meanwhile, went on to win their first ever Super Bowl title over the Colts that February.

So while New Orleans may go into Sunday night’s game favored, just remember…the Cowboys used a prime time win over New Orleans to propel them to a division title before…who’s to say they cant do it again
?

What do you think?

Cowboys Blog - Romo Brings Laughs and a Victory 1

Romo Brings Laughs and a Victory

Dallas Fantasy Projections