Despite being down six coaches, including head coach Mike McCarthy, the Dallas Cowboys picked up a 27-17 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Dak Prescott threw for 235 yards with a touchdown and an interception, Tony Pollard added a touchdown on the ground, and the Dallas defense intercepted Taysom Hill four times in his first start at quarterback for New Orleans this season.
With Dan Quinn serving as acting head coach with McCarthy and five other coaches sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols, the Cowboys defense did a great job of containing everything the Saints threw at them. The only thing that had any significant success for the New Orleans offense was Hill running the ball.
Hill was intercepted on three consecutive drives for the Saints in the fourth quarter with defensive tackle Carlos Watkins returning the final pick for a 29-yard clinching touchdown with just under three minutes left to play. Hill did injure his throwing hand colliding with a Dallas defender on a throw in the first half but was able to play through it.
Prescott connected with Michael Gallup on a 1-yard touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the opening quarter to give Dallas a 7-0 lead.
The Saints immediately answered with Hill finding Lil'Jordan Humphrey for 24-yard score to even the game at 7-7.
Greg Zuerlein converted field goal attempts from 55 and 34 yards to give Dallas a 13-7 advantage at halftime.
After Brett Maher‘s 42-yard field goal closed the gap to 13-10 midway through the third quarter, the Cowboys took control. Pollard sprung free for a 58-yard touchdown as he out-ran Saints safety Marcus Williams up the left sideline. While the Cowboys offense was unable to add to the total, the defense started taking the ball away from Hill.
Hill had already been intercepted by Jayron Kearse in the second quarter before getting picked on three straight fourth quarter drives. Damontae Kazee, Trevon Diggs and Watkins all grabbed passes from Hill to thwart any chances of a New Orleans rally. The interception by Diggs was his ninth of the season for Dallas.
Deonte Harris sliced through the Cowboys defense for a 70-yard touchdown on a pass from Hill to cut into the deficit with 2:32 left to play but the Saints wouldn’t get a chance to get any closer.
Hill finished the game 19 of 41 for 264 yards with two touchdowns and the four interceptions. He also rushed for 101 yards on 11 carries for the Saints.