Fans may not be getting a post-season spot this Christmas (Minnesota’s win over Houston made sure of that, mathematically speaking), but the 34-31 New Orleans win over Dallas is a sweet stocking stuffer.
Kicker Garrett Harley was good from 20 yards out in overtime to give the Saints their second straight win and improve their overall record to (7-8). The Cowboys fell to (8-7) on the season and must now hope that other teams lose for their own postseason chances to remain alive.
The offenses for both teams had been playing well heading into the game and both Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Dallas quarterback Tony Romo had solid days.
Brees went 37 of 53 for 446 yards to go with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Romo was 26 of 43 for 416 yards to go with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Saints offensively played well all afternoon as they ran 91 plays and accumulated 562 yards and dominated time of possession 41:59 to 22:28. Brees also got help on the ground. Running back Mark Ingram led the way with 53 yards on 21 carries and scored on a 9-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Backs Darren Sproles had 48 yards, and Pierre Thomas had 16 yards on the day as the Saints rushed for 116 total yards.
Sproles also was big in the passing game as he grabbed seven balls for 104 yards. Thomas had seven catches for 61 yards to go with a touchdown reception. Wide receiver Marques Colston had another big day with his 10 receptions for 153 yards. Lance Moore had a 6-yard touchdown catch as he finished with 30 yards on four catches.
Romo and the Cowboys offense had trouble most of the game against the Saints defense as the only success came when he found receiver Dez Bryant. Bryant finished the day with 224 yards on nine receptions to go with a pair of 58-yard touchdown receptions.
Dallas forced overtime by scoring twice in the final four minutes of the game with the last score coming on 4th and 10 from the Saints 19-yard line.
The Saints will wrap up the season next Sunday at noon in the Superdome in a matchup against the Carolina Panthers.