DAL-N.O.: Dallas Does It With Defense Defeat Saints 24-17

RD LockhartContributor IDecember 20, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 19:  Bradie James #56, DeMarcus Ware #94 and Marcus Spears #96 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrate after Ware sacked quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints to end the game at the Louisiana Superdome on December 19, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Cowboys won 24-17, giving the Saints their first loss of the season.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Finally, they didn't choke.  With the world watching and no one outside their locker-room believing they could do it, the Dallas Cowboys did un-thinkable and beat the previously un-defeated New Orleans Saints, 24-17 in the Superdome to save their season.  

In the winning moments of the game that could very well determine the fate of a franchise fixated on winning championships, the Dallas Cowboys made believers out of everyone including a certain ex-coach turned TV analyst, that they not only had a chance to win the game, but also had the backbone to do so in convincing fashion.

Numbers don't lie. The Dallas Cowboys dominated the Saints in every statistical aspect of the game except for red-zone efficiency, thanks to the only consistent weakness shown by this much maligned Dallas squad this season, kicker.  Face it Nick Folk stinks. His missed  24-yd field goal in the latter stages of the game nearly sunk the Cowboys and gave the Saints a sliver of hope that their un-defeated season would live on.

But, un-like their earlier losses this month to San Diego and New York, the Dallas defense did not choke this time. Down to the final seconds and the Saints in desperation mode for a game tying touchdown to keep their historic un-defeated season in tack, De-Marcus Ware would not be denied.

On the final play of the game Ware capped off a monstrous night, fighting around and through the blocks of several Saints offensive blockers to get to quarterback Drew Brees for his second sack and second forced fumble that nose tackle Jay Ratliff swallowed up quickly along with Saints un-defeated dreams. 

The Cowboys fought back from the brink in thrilling fashion to get the victory and to live for another week in the NFL playoff-picture.  With wins in the final two games against the Eagles (9-4) and the Redskins (4-9) they will have captured the NFC East.  But, the Cowboys can't get ahead of themselves just yet and must stay focused and take it one game at a time if they want to finish what they started and return this franchise to glory.