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Saints' Cameron Jordan pays tribute to Will Smith after passing him on franchise sack list

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(Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

ARLINGTON, Texas — New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan entered Thursday’s game with 67.5 sacks, tying him for fourth in franchise history with Will Smith.

Heading into the game against the Dallas Cowboys, Jordan had a plan of how to celebrate if he passed Smith on the list, and he followed through with it.

Jordan sacked Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott early in the second quarter, and after the play, he kissed his biceps, imitating Smith’s sack celebration from his nine seasons (2004-12) with the Saints.

Jordan continued that celebration by putting in hands together in prayer, honoring Smith, who was shot to death in New Orleans on April 9, 2016. ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Saints-Cowboys playoff rematch? Here’s how it could happen

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By Christopher Dabe - NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Cameron Jordan said it. He wants a rematch. You can be sure anybody else associated with the New Orleans Saints would relish the chance.

If it happens, it will likely be in the playoffs and in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. There, the Saints should be considered strong favorites to avenge the 13-10 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys that bumped the Saints from the top spot in the NFC playoff picture.

However, there’s a long way to go.

The Saints have four regular season games remaining. During those four games, they’ll want the one-loss Los Angeles Rams to lose at least once so the Saints can get back to the No. 1 spot in the playoff race. The two-loss Saints will also want to keep some distance from the three-loss Chicago Bears, whose 6-1 record in games against NFC opponents would give them a tiebreaker edge over the Saints if they had identical records. ...

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Loss to Dallas Cowboys is a speed bump not a road block for Saints

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By Jeff Duncan | NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

ARLINGTON, Texas – In one corner of AT&T Stadium, Jerry Jones stood amid a huddle of reporters and declared his Dallas Cowboys a changed team after their 13-10 upset of the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night

“You win a game like this, it changes you,” an ebullient Jones chirped.

Down the hallway, Saints coach Sean Payton struck a different tone outside the visitors’ locker room. As reporters peppered him with questions about turning points and in-game decisions, Payton finally cut to the chase.

“Listen, we got beat,” Payton said. “We got beat tonight. We didn’t do enough as a team to win."

And that was pretty much it. There wasn’t much else to say. The Cowboys simply outplayed the Saints. This one wasn’t decided on coaching calls or officials’ blunders. For four quarters, the Cowboys were the better, more intense, more physical team. They won despite themselves, making enough bone-headed mistakes to keep the Saints in it until the end. ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Saints’ Marshon Lattimore imitates Ezekiel Elliott by throwing money in Salvation Army red kettle

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By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

ARLINGTON, Texas — Marshon Lattimore’s celebration after recovering a fumble on Thursday night wasn’t the most original, but it was still a good gesture.

In the second quarter of the New Orleans Saints’ 13-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Lattimore caused a fumble by wide receiver Amari Cooper with his right knee. Then, after he and the rest of the Saints defense ran to the end zone to pose for photographs, Lattimore pulled $23 from under his left knee pad and threw it into the Salvation Army red kettle.

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott did the same thing last Thursday after a first-quarter touchdown against Washington, and Lattimore imitated his Ohio State teammate’s celebration....

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Saints' first loss in 81 days will ‘leave a bad taste in our mouths for a while’

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By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

ARLINGTON, Texas — Six times in the span of 3 minutes, Mark Ingram said the New Orleans Saints didn’t do enough to win on Thursday night.

After a stunning 13-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium, the Saints didn’t make any excuses. They didn’t bemoan the officiating, which was certainly shoddy at times. They didn’t label this any sort of wakeup call or try to find the silver lining in their first loss in 81 days.

They accepted responsibility for the loss that ended their 10-game winning streak.

“We were on a good run,” Ingram said, “and we just got to go back to the drawing board.”

The Cowboys played stellar defense to limit the potent Saints offense. New Orleans had scored 30-plus points in nine of 11 games this year, including the past five, but their 10 points Thursday were their fewest in exactly three years, dating back to a 24-6 loss to the Texans on Nov. 29, 2015. ...

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No tempo, no rhythm — Saints offense fails to do the things it does best in loss to Dallas

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By Luke Johnson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

ARLINGTON, Texas — The last pass Drew Brees threw Thursday night, the New Orleans Saints last offensive play, was meant to be a throw-away.

The game was in the balance. The Saints had just forced a huge turnover that handed the ball back to their offense with 2:42 to go. A field goal to tie, a touchdown to win, the ball in the hands of the MVP front-runner who has already led four game-winning drives in the fourth quarter this season — all gravy.

He just wanted to put a ball in the turf on a second-and-5 with the Dallas pass rush bearing down on him the way it had all night. He left his throw-away a little high, threw it a little too far, right into the hands of Cowboys defensive back Jourdan Lewis for a game-clinching interception. ...

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Alvin Kamara on no-call after Jaylon Smith hit: ‘It is what it is’

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By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

ARLINGTON, Texas — The NFL added a new rule this year to make it a penalty for a player to lower his head and initiate contact with his helmet.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton is on the league’s competition committee that helped develop the rule geared toward player safety, which is similar to targeting in college football.

In Thursday’s game between the Saints and the Dallas Cowboys, there was what appeared to be a clear example of this infraction when Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith launched his head toward Saints running back Alvin Kamara, making a tackle on third down with 9:54 remaining in the fourth quarter. ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Cam Jordan wishes Dallas ‘nothing but success,’ so ’they come into our house later down the road.’

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By Luke Johnson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

ARLINGTON, Texas — Cam Jordan wishes the Dallas Cowboys nothing but success as the NFL’s regular season enters its final month — with a catch.

What the New Orleans Saints defensive end is really hopeful for was a second chance at the Cowboys later this season in the playoffs.

“Kudos to Dallas,” Jordan said. “I wish them the best. I hope that they do well. I hope they do the best they can for the next couple games. I wish them nothing but the greatest of success, and then they come into our house later down the road. I hope somehow that path works out, if you really want to know the truth.”

Jordan recorded two of the Saints' seven sacks against the Cowboys Thursday, the last of which was a crucial strip sack late in the fourth quarter with the Cowboys at the Saints' 6-yard line, giving New Orleans the ball back with a chance to take the lead. ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Underhill: This is how other offenses actually have to live, but don't expect Saints to hang out here long

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Associated Press photo by Michael Ainsworth

By Nick Underhill | The Advocate

ARLINGTON, Texas — The screens and dump-offs were there.

There wasn’t much else. The Cowboys played a physical brand of defense, using their big defensive backs to jam and grab and disrupt the passing game, and the Dallas pass rush created its own set of issues. The NFL’s best offense looked regular during Thursday’s 13-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

It was like taking an Aston Martin in for a repair and driving home in a Kia. The Kia can get you there when everything else is working and operational. But everything else wasn’t working and operational. The best offense in the league was actually below average for a night.

“A lot of missed plays out there. It was more on us, especially the receivers; we were just out of whack today,” wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith said. “They played a good game, but I put the accountability more on us.”

That’s kind of a shocking statement. No one thought such a thing was possible for this group. But it will be OK. Drew Brees can throw incomplete passes and interceptions, get pressured now and then like regular quarterbacks, and still have a good season. Defensive backs can hold Michael Thomas and get away with it and limit his production. It can become clear why New Orleans thought it needed another big, physical...

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