The Dallas Cowboys fought back from a late, two-touchdown deficit, but the banged-up defense could do only so much to hold off Drew Brees and the Saints offense, eventually falling in overtime, 34-31.
Mark Ingram ran in a nine-yard touchdown in the first quarter to give the Saints an early 7-0 lead, and provided 58 of the 116 rushing yards allowed by Dallas on Sunday.
Dallas waited until the second quarter to answer, but they did, with two 58-yard touchdown passes from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant to take a 14-7 lead.
New Orleans tied it back up with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Lance Moore. A Garrett Hartley field goal as time ran out on the half gave the Saints the lead at 17-14.
In continuing with a season-long theme, Dallas’ defense saw two linebackers--Alex Albright and Ernie Sims--leave with injuries in the first half. Mike Jenkins was hurt as well, after landing on his head awkwardly while trying to make a tackle. However, both Albright and Jenkins would return in the second half.
Dan Bailey hit a 47-yarder to tie the game at 17 in the third quarter, but the banged-up defense couldn’t keep Brees and co. at bay very long. Pierre Thomas scored on a five-yard run and then Brees hit David Thomas for a three-yard touchdown to give the Saints a two-touchdown lead, 31-17.
The Cowboys answered with a pair of touchdown passes, from Romo to Dwayne Harris and Miles Austin--the latter of which came with just 15 seconds left--to send the game into overtime.
But after the offense stalled, New Orleans drove down the field, helped along by a fumble that the Saints recovered at the Dallas two-yard line, and Hartley hit the field goal to win it, 34-31.
At 8-7, Dallas will head to DC to face the Redskins next week.
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