News & Analysis

NFL Week 4 PFF ReFocused: New Orleans Saints 12, Dallas Cowboys 10

By PFF Analysis Team
Sep 30, 2019
Dallas Cowboys New Orleans Saints

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It wasn’t pretty, but Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints earned the 12-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4.

PFF’s ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game’s most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.

All of PFF’s grades and advanced stats from this game and the other games played this week will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats.

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Final Score

New Orleans Saints 12, Dallas Cowboys 10

New Orleans Saints

Teddy Bridgewater was unable to push the ball downfield but never put the ball in harm’s way. His one interception was due to a dropped pass rather than a poor throw. Bridgewater’s clean game was enough with a strong defense holding the Cowboys to 10 points. Bridgewater did give the Cowboys a chance by taking a sack on third down instead of throwing the ball away and forcing a punt.

Michael Thomas was Bridgewater’s main target, catching all nine passes thrown his way for 95 yards. He, however, couldn’t turn any of Bridgewater’s short passes into big plays after the catch. 

Vonn Bell had an impressive performance against Dallas, highlighted by him both stripping the ball from Ezekiel Elliott on a fourth-down run and recovering the fumble himself. Bell made stops both in coverage and in run defense and stood out on a defense filled with quality performances on Sunday Night Football.

It was a solid performance from Marshon Lattimore, who’s had his fair share of struggles to start the season. Lattimore covered Amari Cooper throughout much of the night and held the Cowboys’ star receiver in check, breaking up a couple of passes and surrendering just a handful of catches – none of which did much damage.

Rookie Takeaways

Center Erik McCoy did not have a good outing against the Cowboys. He allowed multiple pressures in pass protection and struggled to get anything going for Kamara & Co. in the run game.

Dallas Cowboys

It was largely an unimpressive night from Dak Prescott. He had a couple of nice throws up the seam (including one to Randall Cobb on that final drive that got them into hail mary range), but his accuracy throughout much of the night was pedestrian, and he just couldn’t get the ball moving downfield consistently.

Ezekiel Elliott couldn’t get anything going on the ground, either. New Orleans stifled him all night. It didn’t matter if the Cowboys were trying to stretch things out wide or hit a gap up the middle. Zeke was unable to convert on a couple of short-yardage situations and he fumbled the ball the one time he picked up enough yards to move the sticks on a key 4th-and-1.

Robert Quinn gave Terron Armstead issues all game long with his speed. One of his two sacks cames from beating the pull protection to the outside and looping all the way around to get the sack while fighting through a hold.

Leighton Vander Esch had a few issues in the run game with missed tackles, but he was flying to the ball carrier and making plays that few other linebackers could make. Vander Esch forced the Saints to have to look to different weapons outside of Alvin Kamara and effectively prevented any big plays from the Saints’ star back.

Rookie Takeaways

Trysten Hill played significant snaps in this one but made little impact. He also missed a tackle, which will drag his grade down a bit on final reviews.

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