The New Orleans Saints’ 10-game winning streak came to an end Thursday night at AT&T Stadium as the Dallas Cowboys won 13-10.
The streak was the second longest in Saints history. The longest, 13 games in 2009, also was ended by the Cowboys.
The Saints are 10-2 and trail the Los Angeles Rams (10-1) in the loss column in the race for the top seed in the NFC playoffs. New Orleans is still in firm command of the NFC South and can clinch a playoff spot with a Carolina loss Sunday. The Panthers (6-5) play at Tampa (4-7). The Rams are at the Detroit Lions (4-7) on Sunday.
After trailing the entire game, the Saints defense delivered a big play with 2:35 to play, restoring the possibility of a comeback.
Defensive end Cameron Jordan sacked Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott for the third time, forcing a fumble that New Orleans recovered at its 15-yard line. But on the second play of the next drive quarterback Drew Brees was picked off by cornerback Jourdan Lewis and the Cowboys (7-5) were able to run out the clock. It was just Brees’ third interception of the season. The win was the fourth consecutive for the Cowboys, who are in first place in the NFC East.
The Cowboys took control of the game in the first half, taking a 13-0 halftime lead and dominating in every statistical category.
The Saints offense fared a little better in the second half, scoring on a a 33-yard field goal by Wil Lutz and on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Keith Kirkwood. But they were shut out in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys scored on a 26-yard Brett Maher field goal on their first possession and on a 16-yard screen pass from Prescott to Ezekiel Elliott on their second possession. The Saints opened with two three-and-outs and then punted on their third possession after making one first down. Brees started 0 for 4. According to the Fox broadcast, it was the first time Brees ever started a game 0 for 4.
The Saints gained a bit of momentum when cornerback Marshon Lattimore recovered a fumble by Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper with 12:53 left in the second quarter. New Orleans drove to the Dallas 1-yard line but Alvin Kamara was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-goal.
The Saints defense sacked Prescott seven times, three times by defensive end Cameron Jordan, two by defensive tackle David Onyemata, once by linebacker A.J. Klein and once by Taylor Stallworth.
The Cowboys got their final points on a 46-yard Maher field goal with 51 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Cowboys dominated in time of possession, 36 minutes, 53 seconds to 23:07 and on third down, converting seven of 14 compared to 3 of 11 for New Orleans.
The Saints continue their three-game road swing Sunday, Dec. 9 at Tampa Bay.
Key Saints stat leaders
Drew Brees, 18 of 28 for 127 yards with one TD and one interception
Mark Ingram, seven carries for 27 yards
Alvin Kamara, 11 carries for 36 yards
Michael Thomas, five catches for 40 yards
(Game Summary Provided by the New Orleans Saints)