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Cowboys vs. Saints: Live Grades and Analysis for Dallas

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 10:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys drops back to pass against the New Orleans Saints during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 10, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Sean ODonnellContributor IIINovember 10, 2013

The Dallas Cowboys (5-5) now find themselves neck and neck with the Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) atop the NFC East after a horrid 49-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints (7-2) on Sunday Night Football.

Dallas will try to right the ship against the surging New York Giants (3-6) after its bye week. There are plenty of adjustments that must be made over the next two weeks to ensure that such a dismal performance does not happen again.

If the Cowboys do not produce in an effective way for the remainder of the season, it could mark the end of Jason Garrett’s tenure as head coach.



Dallas Cowboys - 17

New Orleans Saints - 49

Dallas Cowboys' Game Grades
First-Half GradeGame Grade
Pass OffenseFD-
Run OffenseAC
Pass DefenseFF
Run DefenseC-D-
Special TeamsAA
vs. Saints Week 10

Game Analysis for the Dallas Cowboys

Pass Offense: Tony Romo remained completely ineffective throughout Sunday night’s game. He was able to connect with Terrance Williams for a touchdown strike, but he came away with one of his worst performances this season. Romo finished the game completing just 10 of his 24 passing attempts for 128 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions for a passer rating of 72.9.

Run Offense: DeMarco Murray had a great first half. Unfortunately, Dallas fell too far behind to continue running the football effectively. Murray only gained a total of seven yards on four carries in the second half.

Pass Defense: Drew Brees put on a clinic against a soft Dallas secondary throughout regulation on Sunday night. Brees was able to connect with nine different targets. He torched the Cowboys secondary by completing 34 of 41 passing attempts for 392 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 139.0.

Run Defense: New Orleans was able to run at will against the Cowboys on Sunday night. The Saints gashed Dallas for 242 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries for an average of 6.4 yards per carry.

Special Teams: The Cowboys' coverage units continued to impress over the second half. A surprise onside kick late in the third quarter was recovered after Dallas pulled within 18 points. The special teams unit was certainly the only special part of this Dallas football team on Sunday night.

Coaching: Head coach Jason Garrett and the rest of the Cowboys' coaching staff were not able to make the necessary halftime adjustments to get Dallas back in the game. On top of a dismal overall display, penalties haunted the Cowboys during the second half, which allowed the Saints to put the game out of reach.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 10: Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the New Orleans Saints during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 10, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images


First-Half Analysis for the Dallas Cowboys

Pass Offense: Tony Romo looked absolutely dismal over the first half against a Saints secondary that has been susceptible against the pass this season. Romo’s off-target passes only allowed him to complete three of his nine first-half attempts for 20 yards and a passer rating of just 42.4.

Run Offense: Luckily for the Cowboys, DeMarco Murray looks to be in top form. He was able to gash the Saints defense to the tune of 80 yards and a score on just 11 carries. Murray was the only source of offense for the Cowboys over the first half.

Pass Defense: Drew Brees was surgical yet again during the first half tonight. He is difficult to contain to begin with; however, the Cowboys defense made it easy on the veteran with some loose coverage on Saints wide receivers. Brees completed 26 of 30 attempts for 252 yards and three touchdowns.

Run Defense: The Saints started strong on the ground, but the Cowboys were able to stiffen up over the second quarter on Sunday night. Still, New Orleans was able to average 5.1 yards as a team and were able to gain 77 yards and a touchdown on the ground over the first half.

Special Teams: The Cowboys punt coverage unit started with a bang. Dwayne Harris was able to speed downfield and recover a muffed punt by Darren Sproles. Also, Dan Bailey connected on his lone field-goal attempt over the first half of play.

Coaching: Head coach Jason Garrett came in with an offensive game plan that featured the run. This allowed the Cowboys to move down the field while eating time and keeping Brees on the sidelines. Unfortunately, the performance of Romo left the offense rather stagnant. Defensive second-half adjustments will be necessary to keep pace with the high-octane Saints offense.

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