Instant Review: Staff Gives Analysis Of Convincing Win


DeMarco Murray and the offensive line have the leeway to do their thing, it's going to be hard to limit the offense. This is probably the most complete and impressive performance the Cowboys have put together in my brief time covering the team.

Bryan Broaddus: The final stat sheet will show that Anthony Spencer finished the game with three tackles and a quarterback hurry against the Saints. What those stats wouldn't tell you is the long journey that Spencer took just to get to this night. The initial plan was to slowly work Spencer back into the lineup with 10-15 snaps but as the game wore on you could tell that Spencer was not laboring one bit with his conditioning and the coaches had the confidence to continue to use him in the game. I thought that Spencer was outstanding defending the run and appeared to be playing with that burst we had seen from him in the past when it came to tracking the ball. He was a little rusty in his pass rush but that was to be expected but just to have him on the field was a huge boast for this defense.

Rowan Kavner: Try choosing who gets a game ball between Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan - it's tough. Marinelli's defense and Linehan's offense both demolished the Saints in a way no one could have predicted. This was a complete annihilation, with the game practically decided at halftime. The maligned Cowboys defense held Drew Brees' vaunted attack out of the end zone until the fourth quarter. I thought the Cowboys would need their complementary players, guys like Gavin Escobar and Lance Dunbar, to come up big. Unless Terrance Williams is considered a complementary player, they didn't really need anyone other than DeMarco Murray and the typical trusted offensive weapons. This had to be the biggest statement win of Jason Garrett's head coaching campaign, as the Cowboys made it three wins in a row in a complete reversal of last year's debacle in New Orleans.

Nick Eatman: Ok, so what do I know? My only reservation in picking the Cowboys to win this game was the simple fact I didn't see them as a 3-1 team. It's one of those things where you don't really believe things like this can happen until you see it. So I don't really apologize for thinking this defense would shut down Drew Brees and the Saints like that. What an impressive game for Rod Marinelli's group. They hit hard, they tackled well and they produced turnovers. Now, I thought the Cowboys would score points but maybe not as efficiently as they did. If I got something right it was that Terrance Williams would have a good game. You knew the Saints would try to take away Dez and they did at first. But it opened up favorable matchups for Williams and Jason Witten and Tony Romo exposed it. It was a complete win from start to finish and the type of win that will change the opinions of several people about this team. And honestly, I think it'll be rightfully so.

Here are the Week 4 gut feelings from staff writers posted on Saturday:

David Helman:I feel a lot better about what the Cowboys' defense can accomplish if Rolando McClain, Henry Melton and Justin Durant can all go in this game. There's a huge difference between what the defense looked like in the first two weeks, as opposed to Week 3, and Durant and McClain are a huge part of that. That said, I'm not confident about the pass rush's ability to reach Drew Brees on a consistent basis, and I think that's what needs to happen if you're going to beat the Saints. The Cowboys should be able to score points – in fact, I think this game will be Tony Romo's biggest passing day so far this season. But I don't like the defense's prospects against Jimmy Graham, and I think they'll give up a back-breaking big play sometime late in the game – maybe to Kenny Stills. I think the Saints will win by six to 10 points, something like 34-27.

Bryan Broaddus: If you would have asked me five months ago if Anthony Spencer would ever play another snap in the NFL I would have said there is no way. It has been an incredible journey for Spencer who will play his first snap for the Cowboys in over a year and honestly it couldn't have come at a better time for this defense. What Spencer brings talent wise is something that this defense doesn't have – an edge pass rusher. Call me crazy but I believe that Anthony Spencer is both mentally and physically stronger than when he was a Pro Bowl linebacker in 2012. My gut feeling is that regardless of the number of snaps that he takes against the Saints he will be an immediate impact both playing the run and affecting Drew Brees when he drops back to pass. We will look back on his game and feel good about the results.  

Rowan Kavner: It'll be huge if Rolando McClain and Henry Melton can play after practicing Friday against a Saints team with the kind of offensive firepower the Cowboys haven't seen this year. Given the Cowboys' troubles against tight ends, I think Jimmy Graham is going to have a field day even with Dallas preparing for the threat. I think this is a game the Cowboys' complementary players, guys like Lance Dunbar and Gavin Escobar, show up in a big way. Without McClain, I thought the Saints would be capable of a double-digit win, even with the Cowboys answering back through most of the night early on. I don't see either team blowing the other one out as long as 55 is on the field, but I still think the Saints have just a little too much offensively to keep up.    [embedded_ad]

Nick Eatman: I've said it numerous times already this year just how much this really is a .500 league. There are exceptions to the rule on both ends of the spectrum but for the most part, these teams are pretty even. That's the main reason I think the Cowboys will have a hard time beating the Saints. It's not that it won't happen or can't, but something tells me the Saints will find a way to bounce back from a 0-2 start just like I see it unlikely the Cowboys will be 3-1. That's really all I've got. I know it's not superb analysis or game breakdown. It's more about the fact I can't see the Saints being 1-3 and the Cowboys 3-1. Specifically, I do see the Cowboys getting a good game from Terrance Williams on the outside. They will try to take away Dez and maybe Witten and Williams will have a big day. As much as I'd like to see Claiborne bounce back from a tough week with a big game, I see multiple pass interference penalties from him. I think Jimmy Graham has a decent day and I think they keep this rookie Brandin Cooks in check. Why do I have the feeling a guy like Kenny Stills hurts them with a big play? The Cowboys hang in there and keep it close but I see more firepower out of the Saints.

Instant_092814.jpg


ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys made a statement Sunday night with a 38-17 win over the Saints, improving to 3-1.

From start to finish, the Cowboys were dominant on both sides of the ball. It's not exactly what the writers saw coming, but here are the instant reaction from the staff of DallasCowboys.com.

David Helman: Chalk this up as my first whiff of the season. I thought the Cowboys were going to be competitive in a losing effort – though I thought going in that a Dallas win would not be overly surprising. But even with some time to think about it, I am still in complete shock that the Cowboys blew the doors off a Saints team that has been among the NFC's best for the past five or so years. My biggest impression has to be the secondary, I think. The stat sheet says that Drew Brees threw for 340 yards, but that was some quiet yardage – the Cowboys gave up perhaps two big plays and kept Brees from dissecting them, even though the pass rush was not fantastic. On the flip side, it's quickly becoming clear that if


DeMarco Murray and the offensive line have the leeway to do their thing, it's going to be hard to limit the offense. This is probably the most complete and impressive performance the Cowboys have put together in my brief time covering the team.

Bryan Broaddus: The final stat sheet will show that Anthony Spencer finished the game with three tackles and a quarterback hurry against the Saints. What those stats wouldn't tell you is the long journey that Spencer took just to get to this night. The initial plan was to slowly work Spencer back into the lineup with 10-15 snaps but as the game wore on you could tell that Spencer was not laboring one bit with his conditioning and the coaches had the confidence to continue to use him in the game. I thought that Spencer was outstanding defending the run and appeared to be playing with that burst we had seen from him in the past when it came to tracking the ball. He was a little rusty in his pass rush but that was to be expected but just to have him on the field was a huge boast for this defense.

Rowan Kavner: Try choosing who gets a game ball between Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan - it's tough. Marinelli's defense and Linehan's offense both demolished the Saints in a way no one could have predicted. This was a complete annihilation, with the game practically decided at halftime. The maligned Cowboys defense held Drew Brees' vaunted attack out of the end zone until the fourth quarter. I thought the Cowboys would need their complementary players, guys like Gavin Escobar and Lance Dunbar, to come up big. Unless Terrance Williams is considered a complementary player, they didn't really need anyone other than DeMarco Murray and the typical trusted offensive weapons. This had to be the biggest statement win of Jason Garrett's head coaching campaign, as the Cowboys made it three wins in a row in a complete reversal of last year's debacle in New Orleans.

Nick Eatman: Ok, so what do I know? My only reservation in picking the Cowboys to win this game was the simple fact I didn't see them as a 3-1 team. It's one of those things where you don't really believe things like this can happen until you see it. So I don't really apologize for thinking this defense would shut down Drew Brees and the Saints like that. What an impressive game for Rod Marinelli's group. They hit hard, they tackled well and they produced turnovers. Now, I thought the Cowboys would score points but maybe not as efficiently as they did. If I got something right it was that Terrance Williams would have a good game. You knew the Saints would try to take away Dez and they did at first. But it opened up favorable matchups for Williams and Jason Witten and Tony Romo exposed it. It was a complete win from start to finish and the type of win that will change the opinions of several people about this team. And honestly, I think it'll be rightfully so.

Here are the Week 4 gut feelings from staff writers posted on Saturday:

David Helman:I feel a lot better about what the Cowboys' defense can accomplish if Rolando McClain, Henry Melton and Justin Durant can all go in this game. There's a huge difference between what the defense looked like in the first two weeks, as opposed to Week 3, and Durant and McClain are a huge part of that. That said, I'm not confident about the pass rush's ability to reach Drew Brees on a consistent basis, and I think that's what needs to happen if you're going to beat the Saints. The Cowboys should be able to score points – in fact, I think this game will be Tony Romo's biggest passing day so far this season. But I don't like the defense's prospects against Jimmy Graham, and I think they'll give up a back-breaking big play sometime late in the game – maybe to Kenny Stills. I think the Saints will win by six to 10 points, something like 34-27.

Bryan Broaddus: If you would have asked me five months ago if Anthony Spencer would ever play another snap in the NFL I would have said there is no way. It has been an incredible journey for Spencer who will play his first snap for the Cowboys in over a year and honestly it couldn't have come at a better time for this defense. What Spencer brings talent wise is something that this defense doesn't have – an edge pass rusher. Call me crazy but I believe that Anthony Spencer is both mentally and physically stronger than when he was a Pro Bowl linebacker in 2012. My gut feeling is that regardless of the number of snaps that he takes against the Saints he will be an immediate impact both playing the run and affecting Drew Brees when he drops back to pass. We will look back on his game and feel good about the results.  

Rowan Kavner: It'll be huge if Rolando McClain and Henry Melton can play after practicing Friday against a Saints team with the kind of offensive firepower the Cowboys haven't seen this year. Given the Cowboys' troubles against tight ends, I think Jimmy Graham is going to have a field day even with Dallas preparing for the threat. I think this is a game the Cowboys' complementary players, guys like Lance Dunbar and Gavin Escobar, show up in a big way. Without McClain, I thought the Saints would be capable of a double-digit win, even with the Cowboys answering back through most of the night early on. I don't see either team blowing the other one out as long as 55 is on the field, but I still think the Saints have just a little too much offensively to keep up.    [embedded_ad]

Nick Eatman: I've said it numerous times already this year just how much this really is a .500 league. There are exceptions to the rule on both ends of the spectrum but for the most part, these teams are pretty even. That's the main reason I think the Cowboys will have a hard time beating the Saints. It's not that it won't happen or can't, but something tells me the Saints will find a way to bounce back from a 0-2 start just like I see it unlikely the Cowboys will be 3-1. That's really all I've got. I know it's not superb analysis or game breakdown. It's more about the fact I can't see the Saints being 1-3 and the Cowboys 3-1. Specifically, I do see the Cowboys getting a good game from Terrance Williams on the outside. They will try to take away Dez and maybe Witten and Williams will have a big day. As much as I'd like to see Claiborne bounce back from a tough week with a big game, I see multiple pass interference penalties from him. I think Jimmy Graham has a decent day and I think they keep this rookie Brandin Cooks in check. Why do I have the feeling a guy like Kenny Stills hurts them with a big play? The Cowboys hang in there and keep it close but I see more firepower out of the Saints.

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