NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at DALLAS COWBOYS
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2012 ● COWBOYS STADIUM
SAINTS POSTGAME NOTES
*New Orleans improves to 7-8 on the season, improving their overall record against the Cowboys to 10-15. It is their seventh win in their last eight tries against Dallas with the Saints now 2-0 at Cowboys Stadium.
*The Saints will close out their 2012 season when they host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, December 30 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Kickoff is 12:00 p.m. CST and the game will be regionally televised on FOX (WVUE-FOX 8 locally).
*New Orleans had a season-high 33 first downs in the contest.
*The Saints allowed the Cowboys to convert only two-of-ten third down attempts (20%).
*The Saints converted 11-of-19 third down attempts (58%).
*The Saints’ fourth quarter nine-play, 98-yard drive was New Orleans’ longest scoring drive of the season.
*QB Drew Brees has an NFL-leading 39 touchdown passes. With one more touchdown throw, he would join Dan Marino (1984, 1986) as only the second signal-caller to have two seasons with 40 or more touchdown passes.
*Brees completed 37-of-53 passes for 446 yards with three touchdown passes and a 114.2 passer rating. Brees now has 4,781 passing yards on the season, making him the only quarterback in NFL history to have at least 4,500 passing yards in three consecutive seasons. With 219 yards in the finale vs. Carolina, Brees would become the first NFL player to record 5,000 passing yards in two consecutive seasons. The passing yardage total is the most by a Saint against Dallas all-time, as Brees exceeded his 384 yard passing yardage total on December 10, 2006.
* Brees' 446 yard passing total is tied for second in club history with his 446 on 9/30/12 at Green Bay. It is his highest and the club’s highest yardage total in club history where the Saints have won the game.
*Brees engineered the 21st regular season drive on the fourth quarter or overtime to lead New Orleans to victory from a deficit or a tie, the second of 2012.
*QB Drew Brees has 14,877 passing yards over the past three seasons, the most in any three-year span in NFL history.
*WR Marques Colston had a season-high10 receptions for 153 yards, including a season-long 60-yard reception, tying a season-high for yardage with the Green Bay game. Colston now has 78 receptions for 1,102 yards on the season. He now joins WR Joe Horn (2000-03) as only the second Saint to have 70 catches in four consecutive seasons. He has also become the only Saint to post four consecutive seasons of 1,000 yards receiving. With 527 career receptions, Colston also surpasses Horn to move into second in club record books for receptions. The 60-yard reception was Colston’s longest since a 68-yard gain vs. New England, Nov. 30, 2009.
*WR Lance Moore had four receptions for 30 yards with a second quarter six-yard touchdown grab. The touchdown was his 37th career score, moving him into a tie with WR Danny Abramowicz for sixth place in club record books
*With Moore’s touchdown reception, it was also his 60th grab on the season. The 2012 Saints join the 1990 Houston Oilers as only the second team to have four players with at least 60 receptions. With one game to go, Colston has 78 catches for 1,102 yards, TE Jimmy Graham has 76 grabs for 867 yards, RB Darren Sproles has 67 Receptions for 588 Yards and Moore has 61 Receptions for 920 Yards. On the 1990 Oilers, WR Haywood Jeffries had 74 receptions for 1,048 yards, WR Drew Hill had 74 catches for 1,019 yards, WR Ernest Givins had 72 receptions for 979 yards and WR Curtis Duncan had 66 catches for 785 yards.
*RB Mark Ingram had 21 carries for 53 yards, including a first quarter nine-yard touchdown run. The touchdown was Ingram’s fifth of the season tying the career-high he set in his rookie season in 2011. Ingram now has 146 carries for a team-leading 563 yards on the season.
*RB Darren Sproles had seven receptions for 104 yards, including a season-long 44-yard reception at the end of the second quarter to set up a field goal, as he reached the century mark for the second time this season. Sproles also carried nine times for 48 yards for a season-high 152 total yards from scrimmage
*RB Pierre Thomas had seven receptions for 61 yards, including a third quarter five-yard touchdown grab. Thomas tied a season-high for receptions and set a season-high for receiving yardage as he recorded his first scoring grab of the season. Thomas also had a key six-yard run in the fourth quarter on a third-and-two play to convert a first down deep in New Orleans territory.
*TE David Thomas started at fullback and had a fourth quarter three-yard touchdown reception.
*K Garrett Hartley, in a return to North Texas where he grew up, converted two-of-three field goals and drilled four extra points. Hartley now has a career-high 103 points on the season, surpassing his previous high of 100 first set in 2010. Hartley made a 20-yard field goal to win the game in overtime for the Saints.
*P Thomas Morstead punted five times for 263 yards for a 52.6 gross average and 40.8 net, with two inside the 20 yard line, including a punt downed at the Dallas three-yard line by S Rafael Bush, and one going for a touchback.
*LB Curtis Lofton had five solo tackles, but his most important stop was a tackle of Dallas RB DeMarco Murray at the Dallas seven-yard line where he forced the running back to fumble the football and then recovered it. It was Lofton’s second forced fumble and second recovery on the season.
*DE Will Smith played in his 138th career game, moving him into a tie with C John Hill (1975-84) for 14th place on the club’s all-time games played list.
*DT Tom Johnson recorded a sack on third down in the first quarter to force the Cowboys to punt.
*DE Junior Galette posted his career-high fifth sack of the season in the fourth quarter.