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Saints more polished than Cowboys

The Saints stepped up on defense against the Falcons.
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Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw is a two-time Super Bowl MVP who led the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl championships during his pro career. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989 and joined "FOX NFL Sunday" in 1994.

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Having watched both teams win Sunday, I’m more comfortable saying the Saints are closer to being back on track than the Cowboys are.

But I like that Dallas got their rookie, DeMarco Murray, running more Sunday and that Tony Romo threw the ball deep down the middle. I still don’t think the Dallas passing game has enough digs, corner routes, crossing routes and stuff that stretches the secondary and gets their speed receivers open. I still don’t believe the Cowboys are doing enough of that.

I just think Dallas would have more success if they got the ball to receivers not named Jason Witten. They'll be a better football team for it.

I was happy Romo went to Witten deep for a 33-yard touchdown. That was a beautiful seam pass and a good sign. They need to do more of that.

The guy who really caught my eye Sunday was Darren Sproles. He had nine touches all day and five of them went for double-digit gains. But I know the Saints are going to run just enough to keep the opposing defense off-balance and allow them to use the multiple sets to help Drew Brees and that passing game.

What I did like about the Saints was their defense. They used a lot of tight coverage in the secondary and put a lot of pressure on Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman. They really played well and that was after losing talented cornerback Tracy Porter in the first series of the game.

At this stage of the season, teams are looking to build some consistency because the entire goal is a playoff berth. The Saints are 6-2 now and moving in the right direction. There's no doubt they have the talent to take it to the next level.

My only worry about the Saints is they aren’t creating enough turnovers like they did in their miracle 2009 season. I got so used to seeing them do that every game. But they definitely improved Sunday and I was more impressed with their defense than I have been.

The Bucs aren’t a bunch of pushovers. They're going to play you tough. That was a big win for the Saints because the Bucs beat them earlier this season and three of the last four.

I still don’t have a good read on Dallas. They might go on to win 10 or 11 games this season or end up 8-8. We just don’t know. They were still struggling with Seattle at halftime and while they put the Seahawks away, the Cowboys need to be a little more explosive on offense. They're still terrible in the red zone.

I mean, if it wasn’t for kicker Dan Bailey this season, the Cowboys would be in a sorry state.

CLOUD 9

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Runaway Texans

On the pregame show Sunday, I called the NFL a Mercedes league because I think it’s mostly all about style and those flashy passing numbers. Having said that, in this day and age, for Houston to control the line of scrimmage like it did against the Browns was a great thing to watch. I love watching a team win with a running game. My favorite team in this regard is the 49ers.

It was special, though, to see two backs go for more than 100 yards rushing. Ben Tate and Arian Foster are a perfect combination and Foster, the defending rushing champion, seems OK with sharing the load a little. What’s great about all this is the Texans know they can throw with Matt Schaub under center. They should be something once they get Andre Johnson back. If you can run it like they're doing right now, they can take an average receiver and run him on quick slants, hitches, and quick outs and get him open.

When you can run it like that, defenses won’t play man-to-man coverage to stop the run. Teams will play zone unless you want to run blitzes against a good running team to control the gaps. But most teams don’t like to do that, especially in the middle of the field because they're worried about getting beaten deep.

Wade Phillips has done a really good job with the Houston defense, too. They sure look like a playoff team to me right now.

Where did this come from?

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Now, the Dolphins beating the Chiefs … well, that was probably the stupidest victory I have ever seen. I mean, have they lost their freaking minds? I mean, are those players trying to save their head coach’s career? They can’t save Tony Sparano’s job. Is Matt Moore trying to prove he’s really the answer at quarterback for Miami? I would fire everybody down there Monday morning. Of course, I’m saying all this tongue-in-cheek while laughing out loud.

Now, it’s down to Indianapolis. The Colts are now the only winless team in the NFL.

I mean, don’t the Dolphins want to draft Andrew Luck?

But I must admit that Moore played really well and the defense got after Matt Cassel all day long. And what was more impressive is that the Dolphins did all this on the road.

There is no excuse for Kansas City to lose at home after such a huge emotional, fortunate win on Monday night against the Chargers. I mean, they had a chance to win their fifth straight game and take over the lead in the AFC West with a 5-3 record. This loss means the Chargers, even though they lost to the Packers, still have a chance in that division. I still don’t understand what happened to Philip Rivers this season. He has an unexplainable 17 turnovers.

Tagged: Cowboys, Chiefs, Dolphins, Saints, Chargers, Texans, Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Matt Cassel, Matt Moore

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