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Remember These Five

    • First Defensive Stop
      Rarely will you find a play on the first series of the game that makes a big difference in the outcome, especially if it's just a six-yard completion. But when the Cowboys stopped Drew Brees and the Saints on the opening drive and forced a punt, it sent a message to both teams: the Cowboys defense came to play. Maybe they had a little doubt about facing such a high-powered offense, but after that first three-and-out, there was a sense of confidence that developed throughout the entire defense. Just a simple play early on in the game, but it set the tone for the night.
  • Bush Comes Up Injured
    With the Cowboys leading 14-3 midway through the second quarter, the Saints were trying to drive and Reggie Bush caught a pass over the middle with lots of running room in front of him. However, a hamstring injury not only forced him immediately to the sideline for just a 16-yard gain, but Bush never returned to the game. Without him, the Saints had trouble offsetting the Cowboys' blitz with dump-off screens to Bush, who is one of the NFL's most electrifying players. The Cowboys eventually held on that drive with a Mike Jenkins interception.
  • Spencer's Sack . . . Again
    The Cowboys had just extended their lead to 24-3 but the Saints were on the move after a 67-yard kickoff return by Courtney Roby. The Saints dropped an apparent touchdown on the first play of the drive, but on third down, Anthony Spencer sacked Brees for a six-yard loss on third down. However, a penalty on Orlando Scandrick gave the Saints a first down at the Cowboys' 31. But on the very next play, Spencer sacked Brees again, this time for an eight-yard loss. The Saints never gained another yard and eventually had to punt.
  • Illegal Substitution & Drop
    Two key plays on a fourth-quarter drive with the Cowboys leading 24-10 and the Superdome crowd starting to get back into the game. The Cowboys had a second-and-4 at their 46 and tried to make a late substitution in the huddle. Felix Jones tried to get Marion Barber's attention but by tapping him on the helmet to relieve him, the Cowboys were called for 12 players in the huddle. That pushed it back to second-and-9 and eventually third-and-four. On that play, Roy Williams dropped a slant pass over the middle to force a punt. Moments later, the Saints were in the end zone to cut the lead to seven.
  • Phillips Follows Austin's Big Play The Cowboys were trying to run out the clock, leading by seven with 6:30 to play but faced a third-and-7 and the loudest opposing crowd they've heard all year. But Romo hit Miles Austin over the middle for a 32-yard gain to the Saints 45. On the next play, Romo danced around the pocket before finding John Phillips down the sideline for a 23-yard pickup. The rookie tight end managed to stay in bounds and keep the clock rolling. While the Cowboys didn't get any more points because of the missed field goals, they were able to pin the Saints deep enough, and drained enough clock and New Orleans timeouts to put the Saints in too much of a bind to come back.
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