The New Orleans Saints defeated the Dallas Cowboys 34-31 in overtime Sunday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX.
Despite the win, the Saints’ NFC playoff hopes ended when the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Houston Texans.
The Saints seem comfortable in their spoiler role, however, as they dealt a gigantic blow to their neighboring state rivals, dropping the Cowboys’ record to 8-7, a game behind division leader Washington.
The Saints have now won seven of their last eight meetings with the Cowboys, dating back to 1998, including the last four straight in Dallas. In fact, the Cowboys’ last victory over the Saints in the Dallas Metroplex was on December 8, 1991.
Drew Brees continued to play near-flawless football, completing 37 of his 53 passes for 446 yards and three touchdowns. Brees needs only 219 yards in next week’s season finale to finish the season with 5,000 yards passing for the third time in his career.
Brees’s primary targets on the day were Marques Colston and Darren Sproles. Colston had a monster day with ten catches for 153 yards, while Sproles snagged seven catches for 104 yards receiving. Brees also added touchdown passes to Pierre Thomas, Lance Moore and David Thomas.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had a great game as well. Romo completed 26 of his 43 passes for 416 yards and four touchdowns. Romo’s primary target was wide receiver Dez Bryant, who looked practically unstoppable with nine catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cowboys scored two touchdowns in the last 3:35 of the game to come back from a 14-point deficit to force overtime.
The Saints forced punt on the Cowboys’ first possession of the overtime period and started their game-winning drive on their own 18 yard line.
From there, Brees and the Saints led a 7-play, 72-yard drive down to the Dallas 2 yard line.
After a Marques Colston fumbled the ball on the Dallas 24 yard line, Jimmy Graham recovered it just short of the Dallas goal line to set up a game-winning 20 yard field goal by Garrett Hartley.
The Saints improve to 7-8 and will close out the 2012 season next Sunday at home against the Carolina Panthers.