NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 13 Game Recap: Dallas Cowboys 27, New Orleans 17

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) passes the ball against New Orleans Saints during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys went into New Orleans and beat the undermanned Saints 27-17 on Thursday Night Football.

The Dallas defense took the ball away from Saints quarterback Taysom Hill on four different occasions, returning one interception for a touchdown. The Dallas offense relied on a couple of big runs and the steady play of breakout receiver CeeDee Lamb.

The Cowboys head to the nation's capital to take on the Washington Football Team next week, while the Saints head up north to play the New York Jets.

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Dallas Cowboys

Quarterback

Dak Prescott finished with just 6.0 yards per attempt but played a clean game, especially when he wasn’t pressured. The Cowboys quarterback completed 26 of his 40 pass attempts for 238 yards, one touchdown and one interception, with four big-time throws mixed in. 

Dak Prescott Under Pressure

Dropbacks Completion % Yards TD:INT
Kept Clean 31 80% 177 1:0
Under Pressure 11 20% 61 0:1
Running back

Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard split time as usual, but it was Pollard’s explosive 50-plus-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter that blew the game open. Zeke averaged 2.9 yards per carry on the night, with 2.0 of those yards coming after contact. Pollard averaged 10.1 yards per carry, averaging 8.7 yards after contact per carry.

Wide receivers/Tight ends

CeeDee Lamb was the Cowboys' most targeted receiver, with 12 targets. He hauled in seven catches for 89 yards, with four of them going for first downs.

Michael Gallup caught the team's only touchdown pass thanks to a nifty grab in the back of the end zone. Gallup finished with eight targets, five catches and 36 yards.

Amari Cooper came back from the injured reserve to catch both of his targets for 41 yards.

Offensive line

Connor McGovern allowed three pressures while Tyron Smith allowed two, but the Dallas offensive line was clean outside of that. The unit didn't allow a single sack all night, and all five starters earned PFF pass-blocking grades above 60.0 on first review.

Defensive line

Carlos Watkins came away with a so-called “thick 6,” intercepting a Taysom Hill throw and returning it for a touchdown. Dorance Armstrong, Demarcus Lawrence and Tarell Basham each recorded four pressures on first review.

Linebackers

Whether he’s at linebacker or edge, rookie Micah Parsons just continues to make plays. He notched four pressures and a sack while also adding a stop against the run tonight.

Secondary

Trevon Diggs hauled in yet another interception and gave up only 15 yards in coverage on four targets. Damontae Kazee pitched a shutout, allowing zero catches on his four targets and nabbing an interception himself.

New Orleans Saints

Quarterback

Taysom Hill had a strong day running the football, going for 101 yards on 11 carries. He forced six missed tackles, including a clean hurdle.

Unfortunately, his passing performance left a lot more to be desired, as anything over 10 yards was a struggle. In all, he went 19-of-41 for 264 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.

Taysom Hill by Target Depth

Target Depth Completions Attempts Yards TD:INT
Behind LOS 4 5 23 0:0
0-9 Yards 12 19 165 1:1
10-19 Yards 2 8 49 1:1
20+ Yards 1 6 27 0:2
Running back

Given the bevy of injuries, Mark Ingram II was the only running back to take a handoff for the Saints. He rushed 10 times for 28 yards, with 19 coming after contact. Only one run went for a first down.

Wide receivers/Tight ends

Deonte Harris caught a garbage-time slant and took it for a touchdown. He was the Saints' leading receiver, with four catches on eight targets for 96 yards and 71 yards after the catch.

Starting receivers Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith averaged less than 0.50 yards per route run.

Offensive line

Although the offensive line wasn't charged with a sack, they did allow 16 total pressures, with Cesar Ruiz and Calvin Throckmorton each allowing five on first review.

Defensive line

Carl Granderson continued his strong play with four pressures, while David Onyemata recorded three. Jalyn Holmes notched three defensive stops across just 15 run-defense snaps.

Linebackers

Kwon Alexander tallied four stops against the run and allowed only six yards in coverage on three targets.

Secondary

Marshon Lattimore was targeted 10 times but allowed just 50 yards in his coverage on six catches and came away with an interception. Bradley Roby struggled more, allowing five catches on just eight targets for 83 yards, with four going for first downs.

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