Just when it looked like the Dallas Cowboys would seal an improbable comeback victory over the New Orleans Saints, safety Malcolm Jenkins made the play of the game against wide receiver Roy Williams. Jenkins had taken a bad angle in coverage against Williams, who caught a short pass from Jon Kitna and turned it into a huge gain. Even a field goal at that point in the game would've given the Cowboys a 30-23 lead with about two minutes to play.
WilliamsBut as Williams raced toward the goal line, Jenkins surprised him by stripping the ball away at the 11-yard line. The Cowboys' wide receiver never even felt Jenkins' presence until the safety had taken the ball. The Saints quickly moved the ball 89 yards for the game-winning touchdown, and Williams was the goat in a 30-27 loss.
"It's late in the game," Williams said of the fumble per ESPNDallas.com. "That's the nail in the coffin right there. The nail in the coffin. We had the momentum swung our way. We were there headed to a 'W.' That's a 'W' if I just get tackled or just long jump my way into the end zone. Somehow, some way, we win the ballgame. Just fall down, we win."
Kitna and Miles Austin took up for Williams following the game, but there's really no excuse for what happened. Williams knew that at least one defender was closing in on him, so he should've had both arms on the ball. Or he certainly had the option of falling to the ground. It may have looked awkward, but it sure beats the alternative.
The Cowboys had a chance to ice one of the greatest comebacks in Thanksgiving Day history and hand interim head coach Jason Garrett his third consecutive win. But Williams left the door open for Drew Brees and the Saints. When you're playing against one of the best quarterbacks in the league, you can't give him an extra opportunity to win the game. On this day, Brees was up to the task.