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Cowboys scored are the second most the Saints have given up in the past six games, and only the second time they have yielded more than 19 points in the past six games. The 457 yards the Cowboys gained are the most all season totaled against the Saints, and only the fourth time all year the Saints have given up 400 yards of offense and been outgained by an opponent. The 313 yards passing by backup quarterback Jon Kitna marks just the second time this season that the Saints have been hit for a 300-yard passing performance.

Plus, and this to me is what's most important: You guys were either on your feet cheering your guts out among the 93,985 at Cowboys Stadium from the fourth quarter on or had not turned the flat screen off at home by the start of the fourth quarter as you mostly had over the first eight games of the season. And maybe most surprising, you didn't take that turkey dinner-induced nap by the start of the fourth quarter as planned for a game the Cowboys were a touchdown dog, and at home at that.

And ... and ... on top of all this, this Cowboys team did not throw in the towel after going down 17-0 and 20-3 with 43 seconds left in the first half, certainly no reflection of that group embarrassingly run out of Green Bay 45-7 on national TV.

Yeah, heading in the right direction, no matter the W's and L's.

And I'm not saying the Cowboys should be happy with taking solace in a moral victory. Garrett isn't. Jones certainly isn't. And the players didn't want to hear about it, which might be the best thing coming out of Thursday's game. No longer are the Cowboys given - or accepting - a soft pillow to lay their heads upon after a disheartening loss.

Take Buehler. He didn't want to accept any atta-boys for his valiant attempt from 59 yards, saying afterward, "This sucks. Put yourself in my shoes - you know how I'm feeling." He was crushed he missed, no matter the unreasonable distance.

Nose tackle Jay Ratliff was emotionally crushed, hurt deeply they let this one get away, but even this bottom-line dude could sense the worm turning, saying, "The way we played and the emotion we had today, I'm not going to hold my head down about that, not at all."

Wait, and Jones might let a diminishing record or fan discontent improperly influence his ultimate decision. All this talk about Garrett must go 6-2 to earn the job to me is nonsense. With this schedule and this team and operating without your franchise quarterback makes utilizing any record barometer seem unreasonable.

Come on, ride the wave.

Even the no-nonsense Jason Witten sensed this all has been different, and while he wanted to be sure to point out "the standard stays the same, moral victories are not the goal out there, but I'm proud of our team, proud of our guys since you still kick yourself (for losing).

"But it shows what Jason stands for."

And just so were not mistaken, that's Jason Garrett, who by all rights should be transitioned from interim head coach to next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

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