Romo, Cowboys derail Saints' perfect season

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are marching toward perfection no more.

Tony Romo and DeMarcus Ware helped Dallas end its December doldrums and the Cowboys held off a frenzied rally by the Saints for a 24-17 victory Saturday night.

The loss by the Saints (13-1) left the Indianapolis Colts (14-0) as the NFL's only unbeaten team this season.

"We'll digest this. It'll sting a little bit going down," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "Nonetheless, it is what it is and we've got to get back to work next week. We have two important games in front of us and we'll take that approach."

The high-powered Saints trailed 24-3 going into the fourth quarter, then scored two fast touchdowns. After Dallas kicker Nick Folk watched his 24-yard field goal try clang off the right upright shortly before the 2-minute warning, Brees got a final chance to tie it.

Brees quickly moved the Saints into Dallas territory. But on second down, Ware sacked Brees and forced a fumble that was recovered by the Cowboys with 6 seconds left.

"As poorly as we played, we were fortunate just to have that chance on the final drive," Payton said. "But we couldn't get anything going, really."

Romo passed for 312 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown to Miles Austin. Ware returned from a neck injury that left his status in doubt and was part of a relentless Dallas pass rush that pressured Brees all night.

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