Dallas Cowboys: Studs and duds vs. Saints in Week 4

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 29: Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys stripped of the ball by A.J. Klein #53 of the New Orleans Saints during the first half of a NFL game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 29, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 29: Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys stripped of the ball by A.J. Klein #53 of the New Orleans Saints during the first half of a NFL game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 29, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – SEPTEMBER 29: Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the New Orleans Saints gets tackled by Robert Quinn #58 of the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter in the game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 29, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – SEPTEMBER 29: Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the New Orleans Saints gets tackled by Robert Quinn #58 of the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter in the game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 29, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Stud: Robert Quinn

Why in the world did the Miami Dolphins trade Robert Quinn for next to nothing? The Cowboys newest pass rusher has made quite an impact over the past two weeks. After serving a two-game suspension, Quinn recorded three tackles and a sack against his former team in Week 3.

He was even better against New Orleans as he was once again firing off the line as soon as the ball was snapped. He camped out in the Saints backfield and ended up sacking Teddy Bridgewater twice, and even had a third which was nullified by a penalty in the secondary.

It’s already safe to say Dallas won this trade as Quinn is thriving on this line.

Dud: Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard

It may seem unfair to put defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and defensive backs coach Kris Richard on the dud list after holding the Saints to just 12 points, but they did have their share of blunders in this one.

Marinelli continues to be afraid of the blitz and leaves his defenders in coverage far too long in doing so. He also continues to use a scheme that doesn’t move players around much which allows opponents to pick their own mismatches — for example, there were a couple of plays where Michael Thomas moved into a spot on the defense where he was being covered by Sean Lee, something that should never happen.

As for Richard, he continues to leave one of the better cornerbacks on the team sidelined despite the struggles of Chidobe Awuzie. While he did get a pick on a batted pass, Awuzie has been a mess in coverage this season whereas Jourdan Lewis has thrived whenever he’s on the field.

However, Richard stubbornly rolls out Awuzie simply because he’s convinced size on the outside is that important.

Put all of this together and you have a defense that struggles to get off the field. New Orleans had far too many extended drives and dominated the time of possession 36 minutes to 24

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Even though they kept the defense out of the end zone, it’s hard to win when the opponent has the ball for nearly a full quarter longer than your team.