For a brief moment, it looked as though Jason Garrett--who, starting in place of Troy Aikman, made an improbable comeback win over the Green Pay Packers on Thanksgiving Day 1994--would lead the Dallas Cowboys to a highly improbable comeback victory over the New Orleans Saints Thursday, but this time, the effort fell short, as Dallas fell to New Orleans 30-27.
Set up by a 59-yard pass from Drew Brees to Devery Henderson, the Saints got on the board less than two minutes into the first quarter on a three-yard run by rookie Chris Ivory. They would go on to score on each of their first three drives.
On the ensuing Dallas possession, quarterback Jon Kitna was intercepted by Will Smith, giving the Saints a short field. Due in great part to DeMarcus Ware’s sack of Brees on first down, though, the Saints were only able to extend their lead by three, on Dallas native Garrett Hartley’s 50-yard field goal.
New Orleans extended their lead to 17 with Ivory’s second touchdown run of the day, this time a six-yarder.
The second quarter’s offense was limited to the kickers. David Buehler’s second quarter, 21-yard field goal drew the deficit to 14, but Hartley hit on a 45 yard attempt later in the quarter to extend the New Orleans lead once again. With time running out on the half, Buehler responded with a career-high, 53 yard field goal to once again bring Dallas to within two touchdowns.
The Cowboys came out firing in the second half. Miles Austin took an end-around 60 yards for his first career rushing touchdown on the team’s third offensive play of the half. The Saints answered with a field goal on their next drive, making Hartley three-for-three on the day and giving the Saints a 23-13 lead.
After the offense stalled on the ensuing drive, Dallas was forced to punt to chants of “Reggie,” referring of course to Reggie Bush. However, after receiving the punt, a hit by Jesse Holley jarred the ball loose, allowing the Cowboys offense to continue the drive at the Saints’ 15 yard line. Five plays later, Marion Barber scored on a one-yard-run to bring Dallas to within a field goal.
Another turnover, this time a Gerald Sensabaugh interception, would result in the team’s first lead of the day.
Starting at the New Orleans 39, the Cowboys needed just seven plays to take the lead on a one-yard touchdown run by Tashard Choice, his first of the season.
New Orleans finally answered on the ensuing drive, which started when Roy Williams had the ball ripped from his grasp at the end of a long catch-and-run. With completions of 22, 55 and 12 yards, the final of which a touchdown to Lance Moore, the Saints took the lead once more, at 30-27.
Buehler attempted a 59 yard field goal with around 30 seconds left, and actually came pretty close--which seems a fitting image for Dallas’ effort Thursday.
Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW Sports on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe to this free service. Read more about it here.