COWBOYS VS. SAINTS (FROM SAINTS VIEW)
Consider this one over
We've got 3:29 left in the third quarter, and this game is done.
The Saints aren't just beating the Cowboys. They are throttling them. The Cowboys look old and slow compared to the Saints. Drew Brees is picking the Dallas secondary apart like a buzzard nips at a carcass.
This game was actually over with Brees' 61-yard screen pass to Reggie Bush. Bush did all the work scooting and ducking his way through the Dallas defense for the touchdown. That was early in the third quarter and was the Cowboys' death knell.
Marques Colston is on the ground with trainers huddled over him, looking at that pesky ankle injury of his. Trainers were looking at his ankle like it was a high-ankle sprain. He's up and walking off the field on his power. Let's see when he comes back in.
1:02 left before halftime, and after giving up the big run to Julius Jones, the Saints have responded by controlling this ball game thoroughly. Drew Brees is running the offense very effectively.
Saints are rolling
New Orleans turns a Tony Romo interception into a touchdown. Brees hits Mike Karney for his second touchdown. New Orleans is dominating the time of possession. The Cowboys need a good drive soon to halt this momentum.
Saints find their counter!
New Orleans strings together a very nice drive that encapsulates 88 yards for the touchdown. The Saints didn't do anything fancy (OK, except for a reverse to Devery Henderson), but they kept it simple and exploited the Dallas defense with quick slants. The biggest play was a nice read by Drew Brees to hit tight end Mark Campbell that put the Saints in scoring position.
Saints better find a counter...
for the Dallas blitz. The Saints had two series dry up and it's not three minutes elapsed in the game. Each drive ended with fantastic pressure from the Cowboys either sacking Drew Brees or forcing him to get rid of it quicker than he wanted.
There goes Julius
Julius Jones just broke for a 77-yard touchdown run. The Saints defensive line may be in for a long night with the departure of Hollis Thomas. Terrell Owens threw a terrific block to spring Jones around the left end.
The Cowboys ran right at end Will Smith, and he couldn't make the play.
First play of the game...
Is a 10-yard pass completion to Colston...welcome back Marques.
Did I hear that correctly?
I do believe I heard a "Who Dat?" chant rise up from one corner of Texas Stadium during the coin toss.
Quick change your lineup fantasy guys!
End Will Smith (knee) and receiver Marques Colston (ankle) were listed as questionable for tonight's game, but the two are dressed and going through pregame warmups.
Smith is doing one-on-one drills while Colston is running routes in skelton formations. Colston missed the previous two games thanks to that ankle. He would be a welcome asset for the Saints who are still without Joe Horn (groin).
So far both look fine and ready to go.
Terrance Copper, a former Cowboy, will get the start for Horn.
Keys to success
Less than three hours before kickoff, and the game could come down to a couple of factors for the Saints.
1) Stopping the Cowboys run. With Hollis Thomas out, due to a suspension for the rest of the regular season, the Saints defensive line is weakened. The Cowboys could exploit his absence.
2) Pressure on Tony Romo. Even with Thomas' absence, the Saints defensive line has tremendous pass rush abilities - Will Smith (8.5 sacks), Charles Grant (six sacks) and Brian Young (4.5 sacks). Smith didn't play last week and is questionable for tonight.
3) Sean Payton. The former Bill Parcells assistant meets his former mentor for the first time during the regular season. Payton has an opportunity to impress his former boss and get the Saints that much closer to a first-round bye.