NEW ORLEANS – The Cowboys had four interceptions, including one for a touchdown. There was a long touchdown run by Tony Pollard and a toe-tap score from Michael Gallup.
But there are always a few plays that might be overlooked that were a big factor in the outcome. Here are a handful from Thursday's game in New Orleans.
The INT Hill Didn't Throw – So Taysom Hill got away with a risky pass on the first drive of the game. While he was fortunate Leighton Vander Esch didn't intercept a pass right over the middle, Hill might have been too greedy throughout the game. He got by with that near-pick, but the Cowboys took advantage of his errant throws the rest of the game, intercepting Hill four more times, including a pick-six by Carlos Watkins at the end.
Big pass to Cooper – After two series where it seemed as if Amari Cooper wouldn't be a major factor in his return from the Covid list, he sparked the first scoring drive. Cooper caught a 41-yard pass over the middle on third down to ignite the offense, which eventually scored the first touchdown on a pass to Gallup.
Saints penalized for blind-side block – Midway through the third quarter with the Cowboys leading 13-10, the Saints had a first down pass for 11 yards wiped out on a questionable blind-side block that was ruled a 15-yard penalty against the Saints. Instead of first down at the 32-yard line, it was first-and-21 at the 11. The Saints didn't get the needed yardage and punted the ball away to the Cowboys, who took advantage of great field position and scored a few plays later on a long touchdown run by Pollard.
Parsons sacks Hill out of FG range – With the Saints driving to cut into the Cowboys' 10-point lead to start the fourth quarter, Micah Parsons not only came up with a big sack on Hill, but the 11-yard loss on third-and-2 knocked the Saints back to the 37-yard line, out of field goal range. That led to a punt to keep the Cowboys up 20-10 with the ball.
Pass to Lamb gets breathing room – The Cowboys had just got the ball back in the fourth quarter with a 20-10 lead. But pinned back inside the 5-yard line, the Cowboys had to figure out a way to get some yards. On second-and-8 from the 6, Dak Prescott fired a pass over the middle to CeeDee Lamb for 25 yards to the 31. That also allowed the Cowboys to run three more minutes off the clock before punting the ball back to the Saints, who took over at their 13-yard line. The very reason New Orleans head coach Sean Payton elected to punt the ball was to get good field position in return, but that wasn't the case, thanks to the pass to Lamb.