|Forget the run for an historic perfect season, now the attention is on whether of not the
Saints will win the NFC's No. 1 seed and play their postseason games in the Superdome.
The Dallas Cowboys (9-5) romped over the Saints (13-1) before a hostile sellout crowd on Saturday
night at the Superdome. It was a victory that Dallas earned because the Saints couldn't get their
offense going until it was too late, and couldn't get their defense stabilized going until it was too late.
Minnesota, the NFC's chief challenger for the top seed in the conference and home-field advantage,
has two losses, but only one to an NFC team (Arizona). The Saints and the Vikings are even in that
category. Should the Vikings win out, and the Saints happen to lose another game, to Tampa Bay or
Carolina, the Vikings would have the home-field edge because they would have two conference
losses to the Vikings' one.
The Saints can thank the Cowboys for being in this position.
Are the Saints the NFC's best team? Maybe. If the Cowboys can beat the Saints, how about the
Eagles, the Vikings, the Cardinals and the Packers doing the same thing in the postseason? The
Saints are no longer a sure thing for the Super Bowl.
"This loss in going to sting for a while, but we've got to be able to put his behind us," said Saints
quarterback Drew Brees."We felt like we deserved the perfect season and the whole city deserved it
and we wanted to make it happen. That's probably the most disappointing thing about it."
"We'll digest this," said Saints coach Sean Payton. "We've got to get back to work next week. We have
two important games in front of us, and we'll take that approach."
Brees completed 29-of-45 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown and an interception, but he was
uncomfortable in the pocket and hurried his throws. The Saints coaches should have had blocker
back to help him avoid the strong Cowboys pass rush. He was sacked four times and lost two
Brees set a record for a Saints quarterback when he hit Lance Moore with a 7-yard touchdown
pass,giving him 121 scoring passes since he joined he Saints in 2006. The pass also pulled the
Saints within one score at 24-17 with eight minutes left in the game. Aaron Brooks (2000-05) threw for
120 TD passes.
Mike Bell's one-yard touchdown run made it 24-10 with 12:35 left. Brees followed that with his TD pass
to Moore. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo took his team back to a game-saving field goal, but Nick
Folk's 23-yard attempt hit the right goalpost, and the Who Dats erupted, sensing the Saints would
come back and beat the Cowboys as they did against the Redskins in overtime.
Brees marched his team to midfield in the final minute, but Cowboys held firm. DeMarcus Ware,
arguably the best pass rusher in the NFL who had to be taken to a hospital last week against San
Diego with what looked like a serious neck injury, stripped Brees for the second time and Dallas
recovered, silencing the packed Superdome. The Cowboys leapt in the air because they were still
alive for a postseason spot.