Twice the Dallas Cowboys overcame 17 point deficits, but both times the New Orleans Saints had an answer, including the game-winning touchdown grab by Lance Moore with 1:55 left to lift the defending World Champions to the three-point win.
Still, the Cowboys had their chances to win, nearly securing the victory when Roy Williams grabbed a slant pattern with Dallas leading 27-23 late in the fourth quarter.
Williams caught the pass on Cowboys 42 yard line and raced into the open field towards the end zone. However Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins stole the ball at the 11 yard line as Williams fell to the turf.
The ensuing drive produced the game-winning touchdown.
"From what I saw, I thought he did a good job securing the ball once he was in the open field, it really looked like he made a very conscious effort to lock it up even get the other hand on it, but then eventually I think the guy came from the other side and knocked it out," Jason Garrett said.
"So you know, it's one of the things you preach and you drill all the time. Don't turn a great play into a disastrous play because that's how the defender can get back into the play."
Williams wasn't so forgiving of his own mistake.
"I lost the ballgame," he said afterwards. "I put the nail in the coffin on that play. We had the momentum swing our way, and it was a W."
Dallas had one more chance to send it into overtime but a 59-yard field goal attempt by David Buehler sailed wide right with under a minute to play.
New Orleans got out to an early lead thanks to a handful of Dallas miscues and the quick striking ability of Drew Brees.
New Orleans needed just four plays to go 80 yards on its opening drive to push the score to 7-0 barely two minutes into the game.
Will Smith then intercepted Jon Kitna to allow the Saints to connect on a 50 yard field goal from Garrett Hartley.
It was 10-0 less than six minutes into the game, and 17-0 with 4:33 left in the first quarter before the Cowboys woke up.
Dallas would outscore New Orleans 6-3 in the second quarter before Miles Austin took an end-around 60 yards for a touchdown to breathe much-needed life into Cowboys Stadium.
Marion Barber and Tashard Choice then scored from one-yard out to give Dallas its lone lead of the game before Moore's 12 yard touchdown reception from Brees provided the final margin of victory.
Choice's touchdown was his first of the season.
It was also the first time the Cowboys notched three rushing touchdowns since 2009 Cowboys Stadium opener against the New York Giants.
Kitna played well once again minus the early interception, completing 30 of 42 passes for 313 yards.
"I thought he battled well throughout the game," Garrett said. "He's done a real nice job the last few weeks making plays with his feet. When it's not there, he moves around and avoids a negative play and sometimes makes a positive play. He made some check downs.
"There's going to be a lot of things he's not going to like about it, but he's going to rectify it, but he's going about it the right way."
The Saints (8-3) won their fourth straight and fifth in six games while the loss officially ends any thoughts of the Cowboys making the playoffs.
Saints rally past Cowboys
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