The Saints (7-2) had an NFL-record 40 first downs and a franchise-record 625 total yards in what marked their 12th straight prime-time victory in the Superdome. New Orleans had 242 yards rushing, its highest total since 1990.
"Spreading the ball around, getting everybody involved — these are the days you love to have," Brees said. "You strive for efficiency both in the run and the pass game. We had that today."
Sproles also had a 3-yard touchdown run, and Mark Ingram added a 4-yard scoring run en route to a career-high 145 yards rushing on 14 carries.
"We just wanted to come out here on a national stage and just prove to everybody that we could play smash-mouth football and run the ball," Ingram said. "I've been waiting for a 100-yard game since I got in the league. ... The line just did a great job, just a fantastic job. They were just getting a hat on a hat, creating seems for us to run through. When they're dominating the line of scrim like that it makes our job easy."
Brees described Ingram as "a man on a mission today," and it came at a good time. The Saints had lost two of their previous three and needed a victory to stay a game ahead of Carolina for first place in the NFC South.
DeMarco Murray had 82 yards rushing on 13 carries and a touchdown for Dallas (5-5), highlighted by his 35-yard scamper on a fake reverse. That set up his 7-yard scoring run that gave Dallas a short-lived 10-7 lead early in the second quarter. Dallas did not score again until Tony Romo's 21-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams in the last minute of the third quarter.
The loss dropped Dallas into a tie with Philadelphia atop the NFC East.
Dallas was frustrated offensively for much of the game against a defense that has turned around dramatically under coordinator Rob Ryan, who was fired by the Cowboys after last season. Star receiver Dez Bryant, covered mostly by Keenan Lewis, did not have his first and only catch — a 44-yarder — until late in the third quarter. Jason Witten was held to two catches for 27 yards.
Romo was 10 of 24 for 128 yards and was sacked three times.
"We have to play better football than this in all facets. We have to figure out what we can do to be a better football team because that obviously was not good enough," Romo said. "It was just difficult. They are a good team. Give them credit. They beat us today. It wasn't a fun game."
At one point, Brees strung together 19 straight completions, tying his personal best and franchise record.
Colston had seven catches for 107 yards. His touchdown catch was the 60th of his career, all from Brees.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press