While Brees accounted for three out of the Saints' four touchdowns, they got on the board early with a nine-yard run from Mark Ingram. His score came less than five minutes into the game. Ingram finished with a game-high 18 carries and 48 yards.
But it was the receivers who dominated this one. For Dallas, quarterback Tony Romo hit Dez Bryant with two 58-yard touchdown passes in the second quarter to give the Cowboys a temporary lead. The advantage vanished quickly, however, when Brees hit Lance Moore from six yards out for his first touchdown pass before halftime.
The two teams then traded field goals before Brees threw his next touchdown pass, setting up a dramatic fourth quarter. First, David Thomas hauled in a 3-yard reception to put New Orleans up 31-17.
The Cowboys weren't done, though. Romo hit Dwayne Harris from 16 yards out to bring Dallas to within a touchdown. Then the defense stepped up. The Cowboys stopped the Saints, leaving just enough time left to tie the game. Facing a 4th and 10, Romo threw for his fourth touchdown, a 19-yard throw to Miles Austin with 21 seconds to play.
That sent the game into overtime, where the Saints promptly took possession and marched down field. After a reviewed play gave a fumble to New Orleans near the goal line, the Saints went for the field goal from 20 yards away, and Hartley stepped up to win the game.
Dez Bryant put up some good numbers in the losing effort. He had nine receptions for 224 yards and two touchdowns. He was targeted 12 times. Romo's four touchdowns are also worth noting.
The most concerning issue for the Cowboys came up in the third quarter when DeMarcus Ware went down with a right shoulder strain, something that has bothered him for a while now. He did not return.
Did they cover?
The Cowboys came into this one favored by a couple points, so no they did not cover. The total was set at 54, however, which was eclipsed easily.
12/30 1 p.m. ET*: Dallas at Washington
12/30 1 p.m. ET*: New Orleans vs. Carolina
*-Times subject to flex scheduling.