quick take: cowboys-saints

It was over when ...

Cowboys RB Marion Barber finished with 17 carries for 62 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

(Dave Martin / Associated Press)

Drew Brees was sacked by Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware and fumbled the football with 6 seconds remaining and the Saints trailing by seven. Cowboys DT Jay Ratliff recovered the ball, allowing the Cowboys to run out the clock and hand the Saints their first loss of 2009.

Game ball

Tony Romo only accounted for one of the Cowboys' three touchdowns, but played nearly flawless football, finishing 22 of 34 with 312 yards. With the Saints having scored 14 unanswered points and the Superdome crowd at its loudest, Romo shook of the Cowboys' December demons and went 4 for 5 on Dallas' last two drives.

Key Stat

The Cowboys dominated the time of possession 36:26 to 23:34. When the Saints offense did take the field, they had little success sustaining drives, finishing 1 for 7 on third downs.

Noteworthy

The Saints lost for the first time this season and failed to score three touchdowns for the first time this season. ... The Cowboys won for the first time in their last five December games. ... Romo has not thrown an interception in his last 156 pass attempts, the longest streak of his career. ... With a missed field goal from 24 yards in the fourth quarter, Cowboys kicker Nick Folk has now missed a kick in six straight games. ... New Orleans allowed four sacks after allowing just 15 in their previous 13 games. .. With 298 passing yards, Brees recorded his fourth straight 4,000-yard season, joining Peyton Manning as the only players in NFL history to accomplish the feat. ... Saints RB Reggie Bush did not return to the game after sustaining a right leg injury in the second quarter. ... The Cowboys' win officially eliminated the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons from postseason contention. Click here for a complete look at the updated playoff picture. ... The Superdome observed a moment of silence for late Bengals WR Chris Henry before the game.

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