In a game that the Cowboys simply had to have on the road against an undefeated Saints team, Tony Romo and the Boys came up huge, pulling out a huge 24-17 win to move to 9-5 on the season and send the Saints to 13-1. DeMarcus Ware, who just a week ago seemed to be on the verge of missing the rest of season with a neck injury, came back and played lights out, making the nail in the coffin play on the last drive to sack Drew Brees to force a fumble and end the last Saints threat.
“The Lord really blessed me,” Ware said. “When I told the team I was playing tonight, everybody’s eyes lit up, and as you can see the scoreboard lit up to.”
The key to the win was the start of the game and the start of the third quarter. Dallas played solid defense and held New Orleans in check early as they forced the Saints to go scoreless in their first two possessions. While the D did their part, the offense came out led by Romo and put two touchdowns on the board to build a 14-0 lead before 10 minutes were off the first quarter clock.
After a Garrett Hartley 34-yard field goal to close the Cowboys lead to 14-3, the Cowboys again came up big on defense as Ware forced a fumble that Anthony Spencer recovered at the Saints 27. With :04 left in the half, Nick Folk nailed a 44-yard field goal to make it a 17-3 Dallas lead in the half.
Again the Cowboys came up big at the start of the second half, as they took 7 minutes off the clock and went from their own 26 to the Saints end zone as Marion Barber went in for his second TD of the game, this time from two yards out to make it a 24-3 game and put the Saints in a desperate position.
That of course is when Brees went to work. The Saints scored on a Mike Bell one-yard run with 12:35 left to cut the lead to 24-10, then after a Dallas three-and-out the Saints went 70 yards as Brees hit Lance Moore with a 7-yard score to cut the lead to 24-17 with 8 minutes left.
With their backs against the wall, the Cowboys came up with what could have been their drive of the year. With a big 3rd-and-7 from their 23, Romo hit Miles Austin with a 32-yard gain to give the team some breathing room. They kept the ball all the way till the 2:16 mark down to the Saints 6. With a chance to put the game away, Folk bounced a 24-yard field goal off the upright, giving the Saints new life.
New Orleans with no timeouts left, drove to the Cowboys 42 with six seconds left, and that’s when Ware came around end and got to Brees, ending the final New Orleans threat and ending their perfect season.
It was the first road win in December for the Cowboys since they beat Carolina back in 2007. Romo had a big night, going 22-for-34 for 312 yards with a touchdown. The defense, led by Ware with two sacks and two forced fumbles, got to Brees four times total.
The Cowboys also held the ball for 36:26, keeping Brees and the Saints off the field. Now they will come home on Sunday night December 27th to take on the Redskins.