Friday, 26 November 2010 14:26

New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboy Game Was No Thanksgiving Turkey

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Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins changed everything;

With Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams racing to the end zone for the potential game-clinching touchdown, Jenkins stripped the Cowboy of the ball and recovered at the Saints' 11-yard line to pump life back into the Saints.

Quarterback Drew Brees led the Saints down the field by connecting with wide receivers Marques Colston, Robert Meachem and hit Lance Moore on a game-winning strike.

The Saints (8-3) earned a dramatic 30-27 victory over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day before 93,985 fans in Cowboys Stadium. The Saints won their fourth straight game and fifth in six games, The Saints are a half-game behind Atlanta (8-2) in the NFC South race, The Falcons face NFC North leader Green Bay on Sunday. Tampa Bay is 7-3.

"That play that Malcolm Jenkins make late is an effort play, a heart play and it's one of those plays that really inspires everyone on the team." said Saints coach Sean Payton. "{quote}It was a gut check win{/quote}."

Jenkins said he chased the play with only one thought -- "get the ball out.  He didn't see me from the blind side. A bad play turned good for us, Not only ripped it out, it just kind of hit me in the stomach."

Brees took the Saints 80-yards in four plays on the game's opening drive, never ever even seeing a second down. Running back Chris Ivory ran three yards for the first touchdown and six yards for the second. He played the first half and gained 38 yards on seven rushes. Running back Julius Jones, a former Cowboy, had a team best 45 yards on 10 carries.

Reggie Bush, who returned to action after being out since the second game of the season with a broken leg, was the goat of the game.  He let the first pass thrown his way bounce off his shoulder pads. He later dropped a likely touchdown pass while leading 20-13 and fumbled on a punt return to set up the Cowboys' touchdown that got them to 23-20.

Tens of thousands of Who Dats had been screaming "Reg-gie!" before the punt.  The Dallas fans tauntingly cheered the same thing after the fumble and after the ensuing touchdown.

Brees finished the game by completing 23 of 39 passes for 352 yards, a touchdown, and interception. Colston had a game-high 105 receiving yards on six catches and Devery Henderson had a strong performance with four receptions for 97 yards. Henderson has had issues over the years with drops, but he fended off interference from a Cowboys safety and still  took Brees' 57-yard pass into his hands to set up Ivory's first touchdown run,

Brees earned Fox's "Galloping Gobbler" award annually presented to the MVP of the NFL's second Thanksgiving Day game.

Kicker Garrett Hartley was three-of-three on field goal attempts, booting kicks of 50, 45 and 28 yards.

David Buehler kicked a 53-yard field goal for the Cowboys as the first half ended.  Near the end of the game, Buehler attempted a 59-yard field goal that would have tied it with 25 seconds left. The kick had plenty of leg, but fluttered just wide to the left.

The Saints had a season-high 414 total yards, 81 rushing and 333 passing.

The Saints are at Cincinnati to play the Bengals on next Sunday.

by Ed Staton
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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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