On the heels of a fourth consecutive loss, the New Orleans Saints decided to start Taysom Hill at quarterback in their primetime matchup against the feared Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night. Much to their dismay, the move didn't help the team break out of a month-long slump.
Hill's unique dual-threat skills just weren't maximized against Dallas' defense, as he threw a whopping four interceptions -- three of which happened during a fourth-quarter implosion -- in the team's 27-17 loss at Caesars Superdome. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Saints (5-7) have lost five straight games for the first time in a single season under Sean Payton (since 2006).
"Taysom Hill's a fun player in his role as the gadget guy. They kind of overpaid for those services," former NFL executive and current NFL Network analyst Marc Ross told The DA Show on Friday morning. "I guess they thought they could develop him, but you were talking about, at the time, a 28- or 29-year-old player who's never proven he can be a full-time quarterback...
"There's no other team that looks at Hill and sees him as a viable backup, let alone a starter or someone who's going to develop. Because it was Payton at the time saying this, 'Well, Payton's so great and is a genius, you know what, maybe he sees something.' He kind of got that benefit of the doubt. If there was any other team that had Hill during this development, they'd be looked at as insane... Despite the toughness and all, it's just not there."
The Saints managed to keep the score close in the first half -- they trailed by six points at the break, thanks to Hill's agility and scrambles out of the pocket. But an injury to the middle finger on his throwing hand produced poor throws, and the turnovers prevented New Orleans from rallying. Overall, Hill completed 19 of 41 passes for 264 yards with two touchdowns, and rushed for 101 yards on 11 carries.
According to a report from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Saints fear that Hill suffered a torn tendon in his middle finger that may require surgery at some point. Although more tests are scheduled, the injury is being described as mallet finger, which Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson recently endured. Suffice to say, Hill's availability moving forward is up in the air.
New Orleans, which now sits tied for last place in the NFC South, will visit the New York Jets (3-8) in a Week 14 matchup on Sunday, Dec. 12. According to FiveThirtyEight's projections, the Saints currently have an 11-percent chance to reach the playoffs.
The entire NFL conversation between Ross and DA can be accessed in the audio player above.