Cowboys Sin, Saints Win: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Week Four
By Richard Ball
Turnover is an ugly word for most Cowboys fans. The Dallas defense does not generate nearly enough which has been a trend over the last few seasons.
Yet the Sunday Night Football contest started with a rare interception from a Dallas corner. Chidobe Awuzie was able to pick off Bridgewater on the Saints first drive of the night only because wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. failed to make a catch and popped the ball into the air.
The interception was the eighth by a Dallas corner since the start of the 2017 season (Fun Fact – Bears corner Kyle Fuller and Dolphins corner Xavien Howard each had seven interceptions by themselves in 2018). The Cowboys turned the fortunate pick and last defensive turnover of the game into a 3-0 lead.
Where things started to get ugly was when two trusted and reliable offensive weapons put the ball on the ground. The first is a certain first-ballot Hall of Fame candidate and the second, assuming his career continues the way it started, also has Canton travel plans in the far distant future.
More from The Landry Hat
- 3 ways Cowboys’ Dak Prescott can have a bounce-back season in 2023
- Cowboys News: Dallas sets pre-draft visit with potential Dalton Schultz upgrade
- NFL executives heaping praise on offseason is uncharted territory for Cowboys
- 3 free agent signings from NFC East rivals that left Cowboys fans laughing
- Cowboys News: Brandin Cooks sends flattering message to CeeDee Lamb, Stephon Gilmore
On the Cowboys first three offensive drives of the game, they managed a six-play 26-yard first drive, a nine-play 29-yard second drive and a three-play five-yard third drive. It is safe to say that the Cowboys had not built any offensive momentum by the time their fourth drive started.
The fourth drive started with two Ezekiel Elliott three-yard runs. On third down, Prescott found tight end Jason Witten running down the seam and delivered a laser for a 16 yard gain – the Cowboys biggest of the game to that point.
While Witten has never been known as a speedster, he was tracked down from behind by Saints linebacker A.J. Klein who managed to poke the ball out. The ball would find its way to Vonn Bell and a promising drive at midfield would be suddenly halted with the offense banished to the sidelines.
While that fumble is not worthy of ugliness on its own, it evened the turnover score for both teams. The next Cowboys fumble would ultimately doom Dallas in a truly ugly manner.
With the Saints leading 6-3, the Cowboys started their last drive of the first half with 4:39 left to play. Dallas would begin the drive with a first down pushing the ball out to their 34-yard line.
On the next play, wide receiver Amari Cooper would make a 14-yard reception only to be called for an offensive pass interference penalty. Good thing that penalty was never called during former Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin‘s career as he would have forfeited half of his catches.
Despite the 10-yard penalty and a net loss of 24-yards, the Cowboys would make it to a fourth and one at their 43-yard line. Betting on his offensive line, coach Jason Garrett left the offense on the field to pick up the one yard.
The Ugly continues on the following page …