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NFL: Saints top Cowboys 34-31 in overtime

Published December 23, 2012 7:51 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Arlington, Texas • Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys figure their situation hasn't really changed, even though their comeback came up short in an overtime loss.

They still have to win their season finale on the road against an NFC East rival to have a chance to get into the playoffs.

"The optimism will start probably 24 hours from now," Romo said minutes after a 34-31 loss Sunday to the New Orleans Saints. "Right now, it's a tough thing to think about."

Romo threw two of his four touchdowns in the final 3:35 of regulation, including a 19-yarder to Miles Austin with 15 seconds left. But Dallas (8-7) stalled after gaining only 16 yards, its only possession in overtime.

The Saints (7-8), whose playoff fate was finally sealed despite the victory, got a game-ending 20-yard field goal from Garrett Hartley on the play after Marcus Colston caught a pass, was stripped and the ball rolled more than 20 yards and was recovered by New Orleans at the 2.

Dallas must win next week at Washington (9-6).

Drew Brees threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns for the Saints, who saw their playoff hopes end with Minnesota's victory against Houston. Saints 34,Cowboys 31 OVERTIME

New Orleans 7 10 7 7 3 — 34

Dallas 0 14 3 14 0 — 31

First Quarter

NO • Ingram 9 run (Hartley kick), 10:25.

Second Quarter

Dal • Bryant 58 pass from Romo (Bailey kick), 12:47.

Dal • Bryant 58 pass from Romo (Bailey kick), 5:43.

NO • Moore 6 pass from Brees (Hartley kick), 1:11.

NO • FG Hartley 37, :00.

Third Quarter

Dal • FG Bailey 47, 10:26.

NO • P.Thomas 5 pass from Brees (Hartley kick), 4:03.

Fourth Quarter

NO • D.Thomas 3 pass from Brees (Hartley kick), 11:10.

Dal • Harris 16 pass from Romo (Bailey kick), 3:35.

Dal • Austin 19 pass from Romo (Bailey kick), :15.

Overtime

NO • FG Hartley 20, 10:33.

NO Dal

First downs 33 18

Total Net Yards 562 446

Rushes-yards 38-116 11-40

Passing 446 406

Punt Returns 2-10 2-39

Kickoff Returns 4-60 2-29

Comp-Att-Int 37-53-0 26-43-0

Sacked-Yards Lost 0-0 2-10

Punts 5-52.6 6-51.2

Fumbles-Lost 2-0 2-1

Penalties-yards 6-42 5-32

Time of Possession 41:59 22:28

Individual Statistics

Rushing • New Orleans, Ingram 21-53, Sproles 9-48, P.Thomas 7-16, Brees 1-(minus 1). Dallas, Murray 11-40.

Passing • New Orleans, Brees 37-53-0-446. Dallas, Romo 26-43-0-416.

Receiving • New Orleans, Colston 10-153, Sproles 7-104, Graham 7-88, P.Thomas 7-61, Moore 4-30, Ingram 1-7, D.Thomas 1-3. Dallas, Bryant 9-224, Witten 6-60, Murray 4-51, Austin 4-45, Harris 1-16, Ogletree 1-12, Hanna 1-8.

Missed Field Goals • New Orleans, Hartley 36 (WL).