ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys completely dominated the first half of Sunday night’s 38-17 rout of the New Orleans Saints.
The halftime scoreboard -- Cowboys 24, Saints 0 -- was no fluke. Dallas did whatever it wanted offensively in the first 30 minutes, with Tony Romo completing 17 of 22 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns and DeMarco Murray rushing for 87 yards and a score. The Cowboys defense didn’t let Drew Brees and the explosive Saints offense establish any sort of a rhythm, holding New Orleans to only 114 yards in the first two quarters.
And Jerry Jones loved every second of it, leading him to a little bit of hyperbole.
“I don’t recall ever seeing a Cowboy team in my 25 years play better, including the effort, including mistake-free execution, than we played in the first half,” Jones said after the finishing touches were put on the 38-17 win.
This performance was particularly sweet to Jones because he was so humiliated the last time these teams met.
That 49-17 loss -- and, really, it could have been much worse if old friend Sean Payton didn’t take his foot off the gas -- had been stuck in Jones’ craw since that November night in New Orleans. Jones couldn’t help but think of that embarrassment as he watched his Cowboys stomp the Saints from his luxury suite.
“I sure did. Oh yeah, I did,” Jones said. “I didn’t want to think before the game was over, but I had thought about it all week, thought about it in the offseason. That was a rough trip home. I’ve got a lot of friends in Louisiana and there are a lot of Cowboys fans in north Louisiana. That hurt. That was embarrassing to go down there and not do better.
“This is really an important victory to us, because of the respect, because of how we fared against New Orleans over the last eight or nine ballgames. This is one of those that we kind of needed to knock the ghostly cobwebs out of our minds.”