Observations from the cheap seats: Saints drop the Cowboys

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A.J. Klein
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

Final thoughts of Saints-Cowboys

I have to close this out with some more recognition of the defense’s work Sunday. Every season the defense seems to begin sluggishly. The last two years they have been not so great during the first two weeks but then they pull it together and by week four they hit a stride.

But it’s never been a stride like this. Under the most critical of circumstances, the Saints defense simply was stellar. After weeks of just looking off, they seriously came to play.

Kudos first goes to Dennis Allen who threw new wrinkles at Dallas and gave them things they hadn’t prepared for. An enormous shout out to Marshon Lattimore who has not been good up to this point in the season. He was simply outstanding last night. The secondary all played well, particularly Vonn Bell who seemed to be everywhere all night.

But the biggest applause needs to go the defensive front four.

Marcus Davenport has shown sparks of improvement over the first few weeks but he had yet to put a complete game together. He did Sunday night. Cam Jordan was typically brilliant, even though he was held probably 30% of the plays.

David Onyemata and Malcolm Brown were unstoppable forces. They blew up the backfield so consistently against an offensive line considered one of the best in the game. It was their play that created so much more tremendous play from the rest of the defense. Include Shy Tuttle in that number too.

And another familiar face made it back. We’ve awaited the return of Sheldon Rankins patiently. When he was lost to the Achilles injury last season, one may have thought he might not return until halfway through the season. It’s a credit to his work ethic that he could return in week four. He was in on two tackles and also registered a QB hit.

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With Rankins back and with the defense geared up like this, this team becomes dangerous. When a Saints team doesn’t need the offense to win, it’s a new day. Hopefully, this day lasts the rest of this season.