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5 thoughts from Cowboys-Saints: Dallas defense wants to be elite? Stunning wins like Thursday night’s validate that

5 thoughts from Cowboys-Saints: Dallas defense wants to be elite? Stunning wins like Thursday night’s validate that

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ARLINGTON — Did that just happen? Seriously. Did the Cowboys really just hold the New Orleans Saints to 10 points, ending their 10-game winning streak?

Here are my thoughts on one of the most improbable outcomes in AT&T Stadium history:

1. A good start was going to be critical for the Cowboys and you couldn’t have asked for a better first half. Well, I guess you’d elect to not have Amari Cooper fumble and maybe Jourdan Lewis come up with that early interception. But overall, the Cowboys executed their game plan to near perfection through the first two quarters. They dominated time of possession, they ran the ball well and the defense was brilliant. The Fox cameras picked up DeMarcus Lawrence on the sideline right before halftime talking to his defensive teammates. “Don’t get satisfied,” Lawrence said. “We ain’t done.” And the defense wasn’t. More on that in a minute. The Cowboys built a 13-0 halftime lead. Dak Prescott in the first half: 15-of-17 passing, 194 yards, 1 TD, 133.8 passer rating. Drew Brees, the MVP front-runner: 7-of-13 passing, 39 yards, 59.5 passer rating. The Cowboys didn’t score in the second half, but Prescott made several gutty plays. Multiple times he used his legs to pick up first downs that kept the clock running and the chains moving. But the problem with ball security continues. His fumble with just under three minutes remaining was a costly one. Dallas was in position to kick a short…

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