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Game recap: New Orleans Saints defeat Dallas Cowboys 12-10 behind dominant defensive performance

Wil Lutz delivers all the points, defense provides the stops

Check out the best action shots from the Saints in Week 4 as they host the Dallas Cowboys at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

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New Orleans Saints

In a game featuring more flags than you'll find in the Acura Stage crowd on the second Saturday of JazzFest, the New Orleans Saints held off the Dallas Cowboys 12-10 on Sunday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Saints (3-1) scored all of their points on four Wil Lutz field goals (40, 42, 19 and 26 yards) and limited the high-powered Dallas offense to just one touchdown, a 1-yard dive by Ezekiel Elliott in the third quarter. The star Cowboys running back was held to 35 yards on 18 carries.

This was the first time the Saints have won without scoring a touchdown since Oct. 25, 1998, a 9-3 win over Tampa Bay.

"I thought the special teams did a great job controlling field position," Coach Sean Payton said, "and the defense was outstanding."

The Saints won despite being penalized nine times for 80 yards, most against the offensive line, which struggled to keep the Dallas pass rush off quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Cowboys also were flagged six times for 64 yards. A couple called penalties weren't accepted and a couple of flags were picked up. Dallas (3-1) sacked Bridgewater five times.

The New Orleans defense delivered one of its best performances in years as Dallas finished with 257 yards and lost two fumbles, both recovered by safety Vonn Bell (three recoveries in the past two games). Safety Marcus Williams intercepted Dak Prescott's Hail Mary as time expired. The only touchdown drive the Cowboys managed was made possible thanks to a pass interference call on linebacker Demario Davis following a third down pass breakup that had most in the crowd of 73,086 fans screaming their displeasure,

"The crowd was great, the crowd was fantastic," Payton said. "I thought we hit the quarterback."

The Saints dominated time of possession as Bridgewater found star receiver Michael Thomas nine times for 95 yards and running back Alvin Kamara continued his slippery running with 69 tough yards on 17 carries.

The Saints stayed atop the NFC South and will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) next Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Quarterback Drew Brees, who missed his second game following thumb surgery, was able to watch this one from the sideline and was an animated observer.

"I think we did what we had to do to win tonight but we have to get better," Payton said.

For full game stats please click here.

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