SAINTS-COWBOYS OBSERVATIONS

The good, bad and ugly from the Saints loss to the Cowboys

Sean Payton had a rough night. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Another Thursday night game for the Saints, no big deal right? WRONG! They lost 13-10 to the Cowboys who are now 7-5 and in control of the lowly NFC East. Here’s how I saw it:

The Good

-The defense came up with pressure and sacked Dak Prescott seven times. Just about every time they blitzed, they came up with a sack or a pressure. On those plays, the coverage was good enough to allow the blitz to get there.

-Sheldon Rankins is having a breakout season. He has seven sacks on the year and is looking more like the guy this team thought he could be. His signature play this game came when he chased down Ezekial Elliot on a draw play for a loss. At 305lbs, that was extremely impressive.

-Cam Jordan is widely recognized as the defense’s best player. But Demario Davis gives him a run for his money. Davis is an all around linebacker that makes plays in every phase of the game.

The Bad

-As good as a coach as Sean Payton has been, he’s had moments in which you question his judgment. Using the two challenges in the first half and not going for the field goal on fourth down on the two yard line were two of the most egregious errors.

-The team had just their 25th punt because of their 15th three and out on the opening drive. Three straight incompletions by Brees, the last one was almost intercepted. He started the game 0 for 4. Too much passing and not enough running to start the game.

-Is it just me, or does Troy Aikman perform verbal sex on the Cowboys every time he broadcasts one of their games? Joe Buck gets in on the act as well. He clearly pulls for them and it gets annoying after a while.

The Ugly

- Eli Apple has been terrible. There’s a reason the former first round pick was traded. He was beat for a 40-yard completion early on that could have gone for a touchdown had he not shoe-string tackled Michael Gallup. He also got called for a couple penalties.

-The 71 game streak of not being shut out in the first half is over. They only gained 59 total yards in the first half. The team looked sloppy and unmotivated. It was as if they kept waiting for something to happen instead of making something happen.

-Sean Payton ultimately cost his team this game with poor play calling and bad challenges too early. His gambling is genius when it works, and crippling when it doesn’t. Piss poor tackling and bad execution aside, Payton was the reason his team lost.

There were a ton of questionable calls made for and against both teams. While the Cowboys played it safe in their gameplan, the Saints chose to gamble a bit too much in theirs. This could possibly cost them homefield advantage in the NFC playoffs if the Rams stay with a one in the loss column. The Saints have some work to do. It starts with praying starting left tackle Terron Armstead is healthy, and head coach Sean Payton decides to stop gambling so much.

 

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