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Cowboys news: Defense steps up in a big way as the Cowboys defeat the Saints 27-17

Plus other news and analysis from around the team

Dallas Cowboys v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys defense comes up big in notching key win over New Orleans Saints - Clarence Hill Jr, Star Telegram

The offense had their issues, but the defense came to play to secure the victory.

It was the fifth straight loss for the Saints (5-7), who played without their top quarterback, top two tackles, best running back and best pass rusher. The Cowboys, who had lost two straight and three of the last four, played the game without six coaches, most notably head coach Mike McCarthy, due to COVID-19. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn served as the interim coach.

Credit the defense, which got four interceptions off quarterback Taysom Hill, including three in the fourth quarter from safety Damontae Kazee and cornerback Trevon Diggs, who recorded his league-leading ninth of the season, and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, who returned his 29 yards to the end zone.

But the Cowboys offense continued to struggle behind quarterback Dak Prescott, who was inconsistent for much of the day, and a seemingly nonexistent running game. The Cowboys will have to fix things before a crucial five game-stretch to end the season that begins at the Washington Football Team on Dec. 12.

Without Mike McCarthy, Cowboys get win over Saints they absolutely had to have - Todd Archer, ESPN

November was not kind to the Cowboys. It was imperative that they got December started with a much-needed win.

None of it stopped the Cowboys, who picked up a win they absolutely had to have, beating the New Orleans Saints 27-17.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak and improved the Cowboys’ record to 8-4. They remain in the chase for potential homefield advantage and widen the gap in the NFC East over the 5-6 Washington Football Team, who the Cowboys have to play twice in the final five weeks.

Credit the team’s ability to overcome adversity. Credit running back Tony Pollard, whose 58-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave the Cowboys some breathing room. Credit a defense that struggled in slowing quarterback Taysom Hill’s running but came up with four takeaways.

Playing their third game in 12 days, the Cowboys could not afford another loss, which would have been their fourth in their last five contests.

It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was ugly. But on this night, style points didn’t matter.

Pivotal play: It could be Pollard’s long run, but Micah Parsons did Micah Parsons things after the touchdown. With the Cowboys leading, 20-10 to start the fourth quarter, the Saints were in field goal range facing third-and-2, but then Parsons happened. The rookie closed down on Hill and picked up an 11-yard sack, taking the Saints out of scoring position and forcing a punt. It was Parson’s 10th sack of the season and he now has 7.5 sacks in his last five games.

4 Interceptions Including A Pick 6 Help Deliver 27-17 Victory For Cowboys Over Saints - CBS DFW

Cowboys get a W in New Orleans and push their record to 8-4.

NEW ORLEANS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dak Prescott had his top two receiving weapons back for the first time in a few games and Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb came through with a pair of big catches in a late first quarter drive to get the Cowboys on the board first.

Cooper caught a 41-yard pass and Lamb caught a 33-yard pass on the way to getting Dallas out to a 7-0 lead against the New Orleans Saints Thursday night.

The Cowboys are being coached by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn since head coach Mike McCarthy tested positive for COVID-19 and could not travel with the team.

On the ensuing drive, the Saints moved the ball on the ground and in the air and tied it up 7-7 on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Taysom Hill to former Texas Longhorns receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

NFL playoff picture 2021: Standings, bracket, scenarios after Cowboys-Saints, plus Week 13 outlook - Kevin Seifert, ESPN

Cowboys have started the last month of the year with a victory. Take a look at where the win puts them in the playoff picture after Thursday night.

The Cowboys are almost certainly going to win the NFC East, whether you think they are good or bad, in disarray or coming together, balanced or with glaring holes. They took care of business Thursday night against a depleted Saints team, winning 27-10 and snapping a two-game losing streak.

The Saints missed a major opportunity to get back into the playoff picture and now face steep odds of returning to the postseason.

This weekend’s games won’t really change the current trajectory of either team. When Week 13 is completed, the Cowboys will still be in a commanding spot in their division, and the Saints will be looking up at too many teams in the NFC wild-card race. What follows is a look at where the NFL stands with six weeks remaining until the playoffs begin. As always, we lay out the possibilities and likelihoods. Our next update will post after Sunday night’s game between the Broncos and Chiefs, and then again after an important Patriots-Bills game on Monday night.

2021 NFL season, Week 13: What we learned from Cowboys’ win over Saints on Thursday night - Chase Goodbread, NFL.com

There is a lot to unpack from the Cowboys win.

Bolstered by a game-breaking Tony Pollard 58-yard touchdown romp and some big plays on defense, the Dallas Cowboys got back to their winning ways.

Dak Prescott and the ‘Boys had their share of troubles with the New Orleans Saints, but ultimately the Cowboys prevailed, 27-17, on Thursday Night Football.

At the expense of the Saints losing their fifth straight game, the Cowboys snapped their two-game skid, winning for just the second time over the last five.

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