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New Orleans Saints Fumble, Dallas Cowboys Gain Control Of Weak NFC East

At home with the football gods and the refs on their side, Dallas secured their biggest win of the season.

The Dallas Cowboys needed a miracle to defeat the Saints according to the armchair quarterbacks.

The Drew Brees hype train was in full swing and despite Pat Mahomes II breakout season (leads NFL with 37 TD passes), No 9 is a sentimental MVP pick for fans. Remarkably, he’s never won the award despite amassing more passing yards than any QB to ever play.

The Cowboys defense came to play, but the vaunted Saints offense was only able to muster 13 points against a desperate Dallas team looking to take over first place in a weak and wide open NFC East.

SportsDay Cowboys on Twitter

This #DallasCowboys defense is HYPED 🔥 (via @thecheckdown) https://t.co/utN9LIdbZH


Under normal circumstances, the Saints would probably blitz Dallas by two TDs. This was a typically unpredictable Thursday night stage. At home with the football Gods on their side, Dallas came up with its biggest win of the year.


Credit Dallas’ defense with making some big plays, but also credit the referees who missed some obvious infractions by Dallas that affected the outcome of the game and killed any momentum the Saints were gaining. Just ask Alvin Kamara and his face. 

Deadspin on Twitter

Jaylon Smith somehow not flagged for this devastating helmet-to-helmet hit on Alvin Kamara: https://t.co/sUdjKKTMTJ https://t.co/OVMJR1hZxH

The hit was so old school that Kamara needed the throwback smelling salts to go back in the game.


George Wrighster III on Twitter

Alvin Kamara needed the smelling salts after being hit with the crown of Jaylon Smith’s helmet and no penalty. I thought the league wanted these hits out of the game? #NFL #TNFonFOX #Cowboys #NOvsDAL https://t.co/4b1sVUXafN

 Brees playing the worst game of his career didn’t hurt the Cowboys chances either.


He finished 18 of 28 passing for 127 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His 71.6 passer rating is the lowest he’s had in a game since 2016. He opened a game with four consecutive incompletions for the first time in his 18-season career.

Complex Sports on Twitter

Drew Brees was out-dueled by Dak Prescott https://t.co/JsKBeyvqkx

The Saints’ run game was out to lunch too.  Kamara and Mark Ingram combined for 63 yards. 

Even the masterful Sean Payton was off his game.  He burned his two red flags early for some reason and was unable to challenge when the referees messed up again, awarding Dallas receiver, Cole Beasley, a first down when his knee was clearly down, well short of the marker. 

Micah Castillo™ on Twitter

The ref’s first call was a first down. However after the replay Cole Beasley was short. The only problem though.. Sean Payton was out of challenges and couldn’t do anything about it and this play wasn’t reviewable. https://t.co/EkUeBAvXps



It was a perfect storm for Dallas and a toe snub for the Saints who were steamrolling opponents and entered Thursday’s game with a 10-1 record. That kind of pace wasn’t going to last. Eventually, Brees was going to be human and the Saints offense was going to produce a clunker.  To the benefit of the inconsistent Dallas Cowboys, that moment came last night.


JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.