On a festive evening, the Saints officially inducted the first three members of their new Ring of Honor at halftime of Sunday’s game with the Dallas Cowboys.
Quarterback Archie Manning, linebacker Rickey Jackson and tackle William Roaf were joined by Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife, Gayle, and team president Dennis Lauscha at midfield for the brief presentation.
The players’ names and years they played for the Saints were unveiled one at a time on the facing of the Terrace level of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome after a film clip was shown on the video boards high above each end zone.
Before the game, Benson saluted the players for their contributions to the franchise.
“Our three honorees are outstanding people,” Benson said. “I can’t say enough about having had the pleasure of being here with Rickey and Willie, and I followed Archie through his great times here. New Orleans is very fortunate to have these people.”
Jackson and Roaf are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with Jackson being inducted in 2010 and Roaf in 2012.
SALUTE TO SERVICE: Before the Saints’ 49-17 win against the Cowboys, the 73,018 fans who filled the Superdome took part in the first card stunt in the 48-year-old building as part of the NFL’s “Salute to Service” and Veterans Day — which is Monday.
Color-coordinated placards, which were put in each seat by USAA Insurance, spelled out the words “Thank You Veterans.”
Red, white and blue cards made the end zones look like a flag, while fans in each corner of the stadium held up camouflage cards in honor of Veterans Day on Monday.
LONG-DRIVING: The Saints produced their longest scoring drive this season, both in possession time and number of plays, in the second quarter.
Pierre Thomas’ 1-yard TD catch from Drew Brees capped a 15-play drive that used 8 minutes, 56 seconds of clock time. The previous bests were 13 plays and 6:57, resulting in a 37-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley at Chicago in Week 5.
STREAKING BREES: The Cowboys came into the game ranked 31st against the pass in allowing 305.2 yards a game, which Brees exploited time and again — especially in the first half.
He completed 19 consecutive passes against the Cowboys before misfiring just after the two-minute warning in the second quarter. The streak equaled the franchise record Brees set on Dec. 27, 2009 against Tampa Bay.
INACTIVES: Saints starting safeties Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins, who both have knee injuries, were among the team’s inactives. Harper missed his seventh consecutive game, while Jenkins was out for the second week in a row.
The other inactives were DE Tyrunn Walker, T Terron Armstead, CB Rod Sweeting, RB Khiry Robinson and QB Ryan Griffin.
CLAIBORNE SITS: Former LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, the Cowboys’ first-round draft pick in 2012, missed his second consecutive game with a hamstring injury.
Other inactives of note for the Cowboys were DT Jason Hatcher (neck), WR Miles Austin (hamstring) and SS J.J. Wilcox (knee).
INJURIES: Saints TE Benjamin Watson suffered a concussion after his head slammed into the turf while trying to catch a pass and S Kenny Vaccaro went to the locker room to be screened for a concussion, according to NBC. … Cowboys LBs Sean Lee and Justin Durant both left with hamstring injuries.
RADIO SILENCE: The New Orleans Pelicans game at Phoenix overlapped the Saints-Cowboys contest and was not broadcast on radio for the first time in franchise history.
Saints games in New Orleans are on WWL-AM (870) and simulcast on WWL-FM (105.3), which also carries Pelicans games. The Pelicans will also be pre-empted Dec. 2 when their game at Chicago conflicts with a Saints’ Monday night game at Seattle.
LAGNIAPPE: A 22-yard TD pass from Brees to Marques Colston in the first quarter was the 60th such hookup between them, which ranks seventh in NFL history. … Mark Ingram’s 34-yard run in the third quarter was the longest of the season for the Saints by 13 yards. … The Saints have won 12 straight primetime games at home, counting the playoffs, since losing to the Cowboys on Dec. 19, 2009. … The Cowboys’ Terrance Williams scored on a 21-yard pass from Tony Romo with 41 seconds left in the third period, which was just the second third-quarter TD against the Saints in nine games.
Advocate sportswriter Scott Rabalais contributed to this report.