The New Orleans Saints came into Thursday’s game looking to avoid losing a fifth straight game as Taysom Hill made his first start of the season. The Cowboys defense came up big forcing multiple turnovers to beat the Saints 27-17.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
New Orleans started with the ball and picked up a quick first down a couple of plays in, but would punt soon after. Dallas couldn’t do anything and gave the Saints the ball back after their defense forced a three-and-out.
Hill connected with Lil’Jordan Humphrey for 25 yards to move the chains to Dallas territory. After an incomplete pass on third and long, new Saints kicker, Brett Maher, lined up for a 56 yard field goal attempt and was wide right of the mark.
Starting their second drive with good field position, the Cowboys picked up a quick first down with a three yard run by Ezekiel Elliott on second and short. Safety Marcus Williams tackled running back Tony Pollard for a one yard pick up and forced a fourth down. Dak Prescott’s fourth down pass was intended for CeeDee Lamb, but fell incomplete.
Following a three-and-out by the Saints, Prescott hit Amari Cooper for a big 41 yard pitch and catch on third down. Later in the drive, Prescott threw a wide receiver screen to Lamb, who broke Malcolm Jenkins’ ankles and ran down to the one yard line before being tackled by Williams. Prescott finished the drive with a touchdown pass to Michael Gallup to the far side of the field.
The Saints went backwards with a false start before the first play. Juwan Johnson would get the yards back and pick up a first down in the process for 27 yards. On 3rd & 8, Hill scrambled for nine yards to continue the drive. Hill soon after found Humphrey wide open and he walked in for the tying score from 24 yards out.
Prescott hit Lamb on the opening play for 21 yard and the Cowboys offense was already near midfield. Tight end Dalton Schultz was flagged for holding and backed them up to create a tough 2nd & 19. Schultz made up for it by getting those 10 yards back on a catch and run. Gallup was tackled short of the first down and Dallas brought out Greg Zuerlein, who’s attempt from 55 yards out was good.
Both teams went three-and-out, with the Cowboys ending with negative yardage as Prescott was sacked by PJ Williams for seven yards on third down. The punt return had the Saints starting their drive at their own 43 yard line. Hill led the offense into Dallas territory, but Hill threw a pass intended for Kenny Stills, but was intercepted for the game’s first turnover.
The Cowboys picked up multiple first downs and bled almost the rest of the clock and kicked a successful field goal with no time left in the first half.
Coming out of break, the Cowboys didn’t get anything going and gave possession back to the Black and Gold. The Saints took five minutes off the clock as they kept themselves ahead of the chains most of the drive. Hill ran for 42 yards on four attempts, but New Orleans settled with a made 42 yard Maher field goal to have their deficit become three points.
Later on in the quarter, the Cowboys attained possession and scored their second touchdown of the game off of a 58 yard Tony Pollard run to give them the 20-10 lead late in the third quarter.
A few drives later, Dallas had control of the ball midway through the fourth quarter. Prescott was pressured as he threw the ball and was intercepted by Marshon Lattimore.
Hill returned the favor and tossed his second pick of the night as he severely under threw Tre’Quan Smith on the play.
The next two Cowboy drives resulted in punts and the Saints next two were ended because of interceptions, including the second one being returned for a pick-6. New Orleans got a quick score by Deonte Harris outrunning everyone to put it within 10. Dallas milked the rest of the clock and ended their losing streak with a 27-17 victory over the Saints.
BIG NUMBER: 4
Taysom Hill was intercepted four times throughout the night, including three of them in the fourth quarter on back-to-back-to-back drives, with the last one being a pick-6.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Tony Pollard
Pollard’s 58 yard rushing touchdown was the lone big play in the Cowboys rushing game and gave them a two score lead as they defeated the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
NEXT UP: @New York JETS Sunday December 12; Kickoff at 12:00.