Cowboys vs. Saints 2013: New Orleans surging, Dallas reeling

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

The Saints reasserted themselves as one of the best teams in the league coming off a bad loss to the Jets. The Cowboys, meanwhile, are falling back to the pack in the NFC East.

Sunday night's game between the New Orleans Saints and the Dallas Cowboys was billed as a potential shootout. Only the Saints lived up to their end of the bargain, however. On its way to a 49-17 win, New Orleans set an NFL record with 40 first downs and a regular-season franchise record with 625 total yards of offense. The Cowboys, meanwhile, had less than 200 total yards.

Unsurprisingly, quarterback Drew Brees was the catalyst for the Saints' offense, as he has been for several years now. While the entire offense graded out well at Saints blog Canal Street Chronicles, Andrew Juge saved top marks for the veteran signal caller.

Drew Brees: A+ for the game (3.22 for the season) He was 34 for 41 for 392 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. It was one of the most flawless performances he's ever had, and that's saying something. I could write for days about what he did well in this game, suffice to say it was peak performance by one of the best to ever play.

The blowout loss, meanwhile, puts the Cowboys' season in serious jeopardy. Over the first half of the season, Dallas was clearly the NFC East's strongest team. Now the rest of the division is hitting its stride just as the Cowboys are entering a down slope. KD Drummond at Cowboys blog Blogging The Boys is worried.

The loss leaves Dallas in the precarious position of now not having any facet of their team working correctly, and two weeks to sit and stew on the loss. It will be interesting to see which direction Dallas goes coming out of the break, with a date in New York on the horizon. The rest of the division appears to be playing better than the Cowboys right now, and they won't be able to rest on their 3-0 division mark any longer.

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