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John DeShazier: Saints have to move on from record-setting win over Cowboys

Next challenge is San Francisco

Monday, again, was moving day for the New Orleans Saints.

Specifically, Coach Sean Payton said that the team would move on from Sunday's result, impressive as it was. The Saints beat Dallas 49-17 in a nationally televised game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, setting league, team and personal marks along the way.

New Orleans set a league record with 40 first downs and likely became the first team in league history to run for more than 230 yards and pass for more than 380 in the same game. The 625 yards on offense was a franchise regular-season record, and running back Mark Ingram ran for a career-high 145 yards as the Saints had 242 rushing yards.

All great for Sunday, Payton said. But on Monday, it had to be left behind.

"That's one of the challenges each week, to allow that 24-hour period to make corrections," he said. "You can lose a game once and win a game once, and that's it. And (then), kind of very quickly get going on the next week's opponent.

"We try to do that. We talk often times about eliminating the noise, that often times goes on outside with the amount of coverage we get."

The noise was a roar Sunday night. The Saints (7-2) scored at least 31 points for the fourth consecutive home game, improved to 5-0 at the Superdome and maintained their one-game lead over Carolina entering Sunday's home game against San Francisco (6-3).

They forced Dallas to abandon the running game (the Cowboys ran 11 times for 80 yards in the first half, five for nine in the second) and were spectacular on pass defense. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo completed 10 of 24 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown, and was sacked three times.

"When that game became one-dimensional, that really favored us," Payton said. "Early on they had some big runs. On the defensive side of the ball we contested the passing game well, we got enough pressure. I thought it was a good team win.

"I thought defensively, against a pretty good offense, we did a good job of contesting the throws and getting through that early portion of the game where they had two big runs."

For the Saints, Ingram established a presence in the run game. He had 11 carries for 130 yards in the second half, after entering the game with 50 yards on 21 carries this season.

"You saw a player that ran hard and had holes and did a lot of the things that I'm sure he felt he could do," Payton said. "He got the right opportunity and the right number of touches. He played exceptionally well.

"I was really proud of how he handled the time leading up to that game. There's a lot of pressure that goes into playing, and I guess a little bit more for a player that was selected in the first round. I thought he handled that well. I thought he played well and he was important to our team."

The next important task, though, will be to leave it behind.

That process began Monday, moving day.

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