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Dallas loses, stays alive

In playoffs with win over Washington

ARLINGTON, Texas – Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys are in the same situation they would have been if they had been able to complete their comeback against New Orleans.

With the New York Giants losing later Sunday, the Cowboys’ 34-31 overtime loss didn’t hurt their playoff chances.

For the third time in five seasons, the Cowboys can get to the playoffs by winning their regular season finale on the road against the NFC East rival – this time at Washington. They lost such games at the Giants last New Year’s night, and at Philadelphia in 2008.

“Even if we would have won today, we would have needed that game next week. There’s easier places to go play than New York, Philly and Washington for the division every year,” Romo said.

Romo threw two of his four touchdowns in the final 3:35 of regulation.

But Dallas (8-7) stalled after gaining only 16 yards its lone OT possession.

The Saints (7-8), whose playoff fate was sealed despite the victory when the Vikings won, got a game-ending 20-yard field goal from Garrett Hartley. The kick was on the play after Marques Colston caught a pass, was stripped and the ball rolled more than 20 yards to be recovered by New Orleans at the 2.

Dallas’ Jason Witten broke Tony Gonzalez’s NFL season record for a tight end. Witten has 103.

Saints 34, Cowboys 31 (OT)

New Orleans 7 10 7 7 3 34
Dallas 0 14 3 14 0 31

NO—Ingram 9 run (Hartley kick)

Dal—Bryant 58 pass from Romo (Bailey kick)

Dal—Bryant 58 pass from Romo (Bailey kick)

NO—Moore 6 pass from Brees (Hartley kick)

NO—FG Hartley 37

Dal—FG Bailey 47

NO—P.Thomas 5 pass from Brees (Hartley kick)

NO—D.Thomas 3 pass from Brees (Hartley kick)

Dal—Harris 16 pass from Romo (Bailey kick)

Dal—Austin 19 pass from Romo (Bailey kick)

NO—FG Hartley 20


NO Dal
First downs 33 18
Total Net Yards 562 446
Rushes-yards 38-116 11-40
Passing 446 406
Punt Returns 2-10 2-39
Kickoff Returns 4-60 2-29
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 0-0
Comp-Att-Int 37-53-0 26-43-0
Sacked-Yrds Lost 0-0 2-10
Punts 5-52.6 6-51.2
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 6-42 5-32
Time of Poss. 41:59 22:28


RUSHING—New Orleans, Ingram 21-53, Sproles 9-48, P.Thomas 7-16, Brees 1-(minus 1). Dallas, Murray 11-40.

PASSING—New Orleans, Brees 37-53-0-446. Dallas, Romo 26-43-0-416.

RECEIVING—New Orleans, Colston 10-153, Sproles 7-104, Graham 7-88, P.Thomas 7-61, Moore 4-30, Ingram 1-7, D.Thomas 1-3. Dallas, Bryant 9-224, Witten 6-60, Murray 4-51, Austin 4-45, Harris 1-16, Ogletree 1-12, Hanna 1-8.

MISSED FIELD GOALS—New Orleans, Hartley 36 (WL).