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Not Much Difference


only the Giants more than 21 (twice), the Cowboys finished with just 21 takeaways compared to the Saints' 39.

Now then, by positions, the Cowboys offensive line has to at least get a push with the Saints' front five, no? At least. Tight end? I'll take Jason Witten over Jeremy Shockey any day. Wide receivers? You'd have to say the Saints trio of Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem beats Miles Austin, Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton, but if Roy Williams would . . . OK, that's a column for another day.

That leaves running back and quarterback. Just not willing to say Felix Jones, Tashard Choice and Marion Barber need to take a backseat to Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush and Mike Bell, as long as the Cowboys continue to give us more Felix and less Marion as they did once Jones became healthy again toward the end of the season.

The quarterback checkmark probably goes to Drew Brees. But by a lot? Hey, Tony Romo threw for 95 more yards than Brees did this season and had two less interceptions. Brees, though, gets the nod with eight more touchdown passes and a higher completion percentage, playing in one less game than Romo.

Defensively, please. The Saints started three former Cowboys who could not start here today: Remi Ayodele at nose tackle and linebackers Scott Fajita and Scott Shanle. OK, the teams play different schemes, the Cowboys a 3-4 and the Saints a 4-3. But the Saints defensive front is no better than the Cowboys - Bobby McCrary, Ayodele, Sedrick Ellis and Will Smith (now, he's really good) compared to Marcus Spears, Jay Ratliff and Igor Olshansky.

At linebacker, yes, Jonathan Vilma is a player, but it's not as if the trio of Vilma, Fajita and Shanle eclipses DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Keith Brooking and Bradie James.

And the secondary, absolutely Darren Sharper had a much better season than Ken Hamlin at free safety, but come on, Gerald Sensabaugh or Roman Harper at strong safety? That's at least a push. The corners played well for the Saints, Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter. But Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman weren't like liabilities. They match up, and I'll tell ya, I'd rather have Orlando Scandrick as my third guy instead of Randall Gay.

Punter, at least a push. Kicker, well Saints, right, since we have no clue who will be kicking for the Cowboys next year. And I know you guys want to say Bush over Crayton on punt returns, but I'll take Crayton's 12.1 average over Bush's 4.8 any day.

So from a personnel standpoint, the Cowboys don't have to take a backseat to the Saints, if at all, which might be the reason why they interrupted the Saints' drive for perfection, and in New Orleans at that.

Somewhat encouraging, right, while you probably have grown mighty tired of seeing the Saints riding in all these parades and that Lombardi Trophy in Payton's hands.

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