NEW ORLEANS — Nothing like nighttime in New Orleans to bring out a prolific performance from Drew Brees and the Saints.
Brees completed 34 of 41 passes for 392 yards and four touchdowns, and the Saints beat the Dallas Cowboys, 49-17, on Sunday night.
The Saints (7-2) had an NFL-record 40 first downs and a franchise-record 625 total yards in what was their 12th straight primetime victory in the Superdome.
Brees connected with Kenny Stills on a 52-yard touchdown pass, with Marques Colston on a 22-yard scoring strike, with running back Pierre Thomas for a 1-yard score, and with running back Darren Sproles for a 28-yard scoring play with five seconds left in the first half.
Sproles also had a 3-yard touchdown run and Mark Ingram added a 4-yard scoring run en route to a career-high 145 yards rushing.
DeMarco Murray had 89 yards rushing on 16 carries and a touchdown for Dallas (5-5), highlighted by his 35-yard scamper on a fake reverse. That set up his 7-yard scoring run, which gave Dallas a short-lived 10-7 lead early in the second quarter. Dallas did not score again until Tony Romo’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams in the last minute of the third quarter.
The Cowboys’ porous pass defense entered the game already having set an NFL record by allowing four quarterbacks to throw for more than 400 yards this season. Brees was on track to become the fifth, but fell short after the Saints decided to stop throwing with a big lead in the fourth quarter. In all, the Cowboys conceded 625 total yards, the most in franchise history.
At one point, Brees strung together 19 straight completions, tying his personal best and franchise record.
Making matters worse for Dallas was a hamstring injury to linebacker Sean Lee, the Cowboys’ leading tackler.
Sproles, who missed most of last week’s 26-20 road loss to the Jets after suffering a concussion, caught seven passes for 76 yards.
Getting Colston involved was another encouraging sign for the Saints one week after the veteran receiver sat.
Colston had seven catches for 107 yards. His touchdown catch was the 60th of his career, all coming from Brees.
Dallas was frustrated offensively for much of the game. Star receiver Dez Bryant, covered mostly by Keenan Lewis, did not have his first, and only catch, a 44-yarder until late in the third quarter.
Jason Witten was held to two catches for 27 yards.