NEW ORLEANS — Don’t let Thursday’s 27-17 win over the short-handed and reeling New Orleans Saints fool you, all is still not well with the Dallas Cowboys.
Not on or off the field.
But the main thing is the main thing. The Cowboys (8-4) got back in the win column and will keep at least a two-game lead in the NFC East.
It was the fifth straight loss for the Saints (5-7), who played without their top quarterback, top two tackles, best running back and best pass rusher.
The Cowboys, who had lost two straight and three of the last four, played the game without six coaches, most notably head coach Mike McCarthy, due to COVID-19. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn served as the interim coach.
Credit the defense, which got four interceptions off quarterback Taysom Hill, including three in the fourth quarter from safety Damontae Kazee, cornerback Trevon Diggs, who recorded his league-leading ninth of the season, and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, who returned his 29 yards to the end zone.
But the Cowboys offense continued to struggle behind quarterback Dak Prescott, who was inconsistent for much of the day, and a seemingly nonexistent running game.
The Cowboys will have to fix things before a crucial five game-stretch to end the season that begins at the Washington Football Team on Dec. 12.
The Cowboys had hoped the return of their top two receivers in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence from COVID-19, a concussion and a fractured foot, respectively, would make a difference in the team’s quest to end a two-game losing streak.
The offense suffered without Cooper, who missed the past two losses against the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders, and Lamb, who missed the Raiders game after suffering a concussion in the second quarter of the Chiefs.