The New Orleans Saints slowed down Dallas’ high-scoring offense, and Wil Lutz kicked four field goals in a 12-10 victory over the visiting Cowboys on Sunday night.
The Cowboys had at least 31 points and 474 yards in winning each of their first three games for their best start in 11 years, but managed just 257 yards against the Saints.
Ezekiel Elliott, who had 100-plus yards in each of the last two games despite missing all of the preseason in a contract holdout, was held to 35 rushing yards on 18 carries, the second-lowest yards-per-carry average (1.9) of his career. He added six catches for 30 yards.
The Saints (3-1) improved to 2-0 in the absence of quarterback Drew Brees, who is expected to miss about six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair ligament damage in his right (throwing) thumb.
Teddy Bridgewater, Brees’ replacement, completed 23 of 30 attempts for 193 yards with an interception and was sacked five times.
Dak Prescott completed 22 of 32 for 223 yards and a pick for the Cowboys, who lost two fumbles.
Dallas had one play from its 48 at the end of the game, but Marcus Williams intercepted Prescott with no time on the clock.
Prescott, who was 22 of 22 passing in the third quarter in the first three games, was 6 for 6 in leading the Cowboys to Elliott’s 1-yard touchdown on Dallas’ first possession of the third quarter.
It was the fourth consecutive game in which the Cowboys scored on a touchdown on their first second-half possession. But they wouldn’t score again against a Saints defense that had allowed 515 yards in a 33-27 victory at Seattle a week earlier.
New Orleans regained the lead early in the fourth quarter when Lutz kicked a 26-yard field goal.
The defenses dominated the first half as they did in last year’s meeting, which the Cowboys won 13-10 in Dallas.
Brett Maher’s 28-yard field goal gave the Cowboys a 3-0 lead after the first quarter, but Lutz made second-quarter field goals of 40, 42 and 19 yards to give New Orleans a 9-3 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media