Henderson: Saints have changed roles with Cowboys

Henderson: Saints have changed roles with Cowboys

Credit: AP

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston (12) is grabbed by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins (21) during the second half of the NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

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by Jim Henderson / Eyewitness Sports Director

wwltv.com

Posted on November 29, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 29 at 10:00 AM

DALLAS, TX – It was a remarkable contrast to the incredible edifice that is Cowboys’ Stadium Thanksgiving afternoon when you consider where the Cowboys and Saints have been, where they are now and where they appear to be headed in the immediate future.

There was a time when the Saints would have had few fans making the trek to Dallas – some 520 miles away – anticipating a long day in defeat. Instead, there seemed to be close to 30,000 Who Dats in the crowd of 94,000 rooting for a team that no longer gives them reason to expect the worst in defeat, but rather to expect the best in victory.

At one point the Cowboys led this series 11-1 and later 14-3. The Saints have now emerged victorious in six of the last seven meetings.

While the Saints are hoping once again to lapse into the Super Bowl dreams that they dreamed and came true just a season ago, the Cowboys just hoped to avoid another non-winning season – one can, one won’t.

The loss Thursday guaranteed the Cowboys their ninth non-winning season since Jerry Jones took over as owner and general manager in 1989.

There was a time when the Saints were already playing the role of spoiler with a third of the season remaining. Now they play the role of defending champion of the football universe.

The Cowboys deny they are reduced to the spoiler role, but at 3-8, and with a game against the Colts and two against the Eagles still to be played, that’s exactly the role they’ll play.

The only thing the Cowboys have left to be interested in is the possible return of Tony Romo before the end of the season and the probable return of Jason Garrett as the team’s head coach after it.

The Saints and their fans have much more to be interested in, like the possible return to the playoffs, the possible return to the NFC Championship and the possible return to the Super Bowl. It’s the dream of the dream that seemed impossible when the Cowboys dominated the Saints in our club’s formative years as losers.

It is now the dream of the dream that only seems improbable, and less so with each win, like the most recent.

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