It would have been really cool to see the Dallas Cowboys leaving the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a victory over the New Orleans Saints, but imagining that is only wishful thinking. The team had another painful defeat as the Saints steered their way to success in overtime Sunday night. The showdown ended 26-20. What’s even worse than the loss is that the Cowboys will also have to deal with more injuries.
Brandon Weeden struggled. The backup quarterback completed 16 passes out of 26 attempts for 246 yards and a touchdown. On their final drive, Weeden completed three straight passes for 24, 28 and 19 yards to Terrance Williams, Jason Witten and Cole Beasley respectively, which gained him a 62-percent completion percentage. His remarkable 17-yard touchdown pass to Williams was one of the highlights of the game. It was a pivotal pass that tied the score 20-20 in the fourth quarter.
Dallas’ prime tackler Sean Lee had to depart the field early in the first half due to a concussion while his fellow linebacker, Andrew Gachkar, exited right before C.J. Spiller’s game-winning TD because of an injured foot. Lance Dunbar, who carried the ball three times for 54 yards, could have enjoyed the peak of his running back career if not for a season ending knee injury he suffered during the second-half kickoff. In the midst of third quarter play, another player was again forced to the sidelines. WR Brice Butler caught a 67-yard pass from Brandon Weeden on Sunday but unfortunately, he strained his right hamstring and will likely miss the next game.
When it comes to defensive strategies, the Cowboys’ game plan was simply inferior to the Saints’. They weren’t able to stop the winless Saints when it mattered. Despite his hurting shoulder, New Orleans QB Drew Brees completed 33-of-41 passes for 359 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. It was kicker Zach Hocker’s unsuccessful 30-yard field goal attempt that prolonged the game into overtime. After a couple of seconds, Spiller found his way to the end zone and pulled off their first victory this season.
Next Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys are set to play against the New England Patriots. Holding a record of three wins and no losses, the Cowboys need to step up and dig deep in order to outshine the Patriots. Will they be able to overcome the challenge in spite of their injury concerns? Or will the Patriots continue their winning streak and add another loss to the Cowboys’ record?