Ezekiel Elliott scored the only Dallas touchdown and the Cowboys stifled Drew Brees and the Saints, ending New Orleans’ 10-game winning streak with a 13-10 victory Thursday night.
The Cowboys (7-5) won their fourth consecutive game and assured they will at least remain tied for the NFC East lead.
The Saints (10-2) were shut out in the first half had a season low in points while missing on a chance to perfectly match Dallas from two years ago, when then-rookie sensations Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott won 11 straight after dropping the opener.
Brees had his fewest yards passing in a half since joining the Saints in 2006 with 39, and couldn’t get a potential winning drive going in the final minutes.
Instead, Jourdan Lewis’ interception — just the third of the season for Brees — gave the Cowboys a chance to run out the clock from the New Orleans 1 after an interference penalty in the end zone.
The Cowboys tried to play keepaway from the NFL’s highest-scoring offense late in the fourth quarter, with Prescott desperately scrambling 11 yards for a first down on third-and-10 and Cole Beasley catching a third-down pass and diving for 5 yards on third-and-5.
But Prescott fumbled on a sack with Dallas in position for a field goal, giving Brees another chance from his 15 with more than two minutes remaining.
On the second play, though, Brees threw where he expected a receiver to be but Jordan was the only on there. He dove forward, just keeping the ball off the ground.
Marshon Lattimore was called for interference against Amari Cooper in the end zone, giving Dallas a first down at the 1 with 1:58 remaining. The Cowboys just enough time to end the game, with the play clock matching the game clock after Prescott took a knee for the third time.
Brees was 18 of 28 for 127 yards, actually the second straight game and third overall under 200 yards for the MVP contender.
The only touchdown drive for the Saints was aided by three first downs on Dallas penalties. The biggest was Randy Gregory’s roughing-the-punt penalty on Thomas Morstead.
Two plays later, Brees dropped a deep throw to a backpedaling Keith Kirkwood in the end zone for a 30-yard score to get New Orleans within 13-10.
Prescott had 194 of his 248 yards passing while helping the Cowboys to a 13-0 halftime lead — the first scoreless first half for the Saints since 2014 and their first deficit in five games.
The Cowboys held the ball for more than 21 minutes in the first half, but settled for field goals twice. The only touchdown was a 16-yard screen pass to Elliott.
Trailing 10-0 in the second quarter, coach Sean Payton went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1 and chose a handoff to Alvin Kamara. He was stuffed, and the Cowboys kept the ball another nine minutes to get a field goal.