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Halftime update: New Orleans Saints lead Dallas Cowboys 9-3

Defenses leading the way in first half

The prime-time clash between the New Orleans Saints and the undefeated Dallas Cowboys was a defensive struggle in the first half Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with the Saints taking a 9-3 lead at the break.

The Saints defense forced two fumbles, the second on fourth-and-1 from midfield with 1:20 to play when Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott plunged into the line and lost the ball as safety Vonn Bell stripped and recovered the it.

Earlier, linebacker A.J. Klein stripped the ball from Dallas tight end with Bell recovering. The Saints couldn't get anything going on offense and had to punt after this turnover.

Wil Lutz provided all of the Saints' points on 40-, 42-yard aND 19-yard field goals while Dallas kicker Brett Maher connected on a 28-year field goal. The second Dallas turnover led to the Saints' final field goal as time expired.

The Saints struggled with penalties, with six for 60 yards, most of them holding calls on the offensive line. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had one interception when his pass bounced off the hands of Ted GinnJr. and into cornerback Chido Awuzie's and was sacked twice.

Both teams struggled on third down (a combined 3 of 12) and Dallas barely got past 100 yards of offense. The Saints (2-1) weren't much better with 157.

The most exciting play for the Saints offense was an 18-yard keeper from backup quarterback Taysom Hill who ran over Dallas safety Xavier Woods on the play.

For first half stats please click here.

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