Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said it was “embarrassing” to watch his team get clobbered 49-17 by the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday night.
“I just didn’t expect this,” said Jones, who 10 months ago fired Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan from his organization. “I never saw this coming.”
Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns on 34-of-41 passing, and New Orleans rushed for 242 yards to gain a franchise-record 625 total yards against Dallas (5-5). The Saints (7-2) set a league record by getting 40 first downs at the Cowboys’ expense.
The Saints were equally impressive on defense, limiting the Cowboys to just nine first downs and 0-for-9 on opportunities to convert on third down. Tony Romo (10-of-24 passing) threw for 128 yards and a touchdown that helped briefly make it 35-17 late in the third quarter before New Orleans rattled off 14 unanswered points to complete the rout.
To be fair, the Cowboys came in short one key player on D, defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, who missed the contest with a stinger in his neck area. They lost two more, linebackers Sean Lee and Justin Durant, to hamstring injuries after kickoff.
But Jones said, “That’s not an excuse because we still didn’t play as well as they did.”
Jones added, “Right now (the Saints) deserve anything you can say about a team thoroughly, physically beating your team. And the Saints did that to the Cowboys.
“It’s embarrassing to lose and, and it’s embarrassing to not be representative and competitive … all of those things. And the real issue now is what are we going to do about it?”
Ryan worked for Jones as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator in 2011 and ’12, but he was fired after two 8-8 finishes by Dallas. Some thought Ryan would get a pass last year because he lost five starters to major injuries, but Jones showed no mercy.
He replaced Ryan with Monte Kiffin.
Ryan’s defense entered Sunday’s game allowing the ninth-fewest yards (333.1) and fifth-fewest points (18.2) per game. Dallas was second-to-last overall — and dropped a spot after the beatdown from New Orleans.
“I think highly of Rob as a coach,” Jones said on Dallas radio in the days leading up to the game. “He can have a lot going on. We wanted less going.”