NFL

Saints rebound to crush Cowboys

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
New Orleans Saints head football coach Sean Payton argues a call during a game in 2011. The Saints defeated the Dallas Cowboys 49-17 on Sunday Night Football. 
DAILY NEWS PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

NEW ORLEANS - Playing at home, under the Sunday night spotlight and with three of the greatest players in franchise history looking on, the New Orleans Saints routed the Dallas Cowboys 49-17 before 73,018 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Saints (7-2) spotted the Cowboys (5-5) a three-point lead and then proceeded to dominate every facet of the game on the night the franchise inducted Archie Manning, Rickey Jackson and Willie Roaf into the team's new Ring of Honor.

Quarterback Drew Brees was 34-of-41 for 392 yards and four touchdowns and completed 19 consecutive passes in the first half, matching his franchise mark, most coming in a 21-point second quarter when New Orleans seized control.

The Saints set an NFL mark with their 40 first downs and they were 9-of-12 on third down while not allowing Dallas to convert a third down in nine attempts.

Brees' touchdown barrage started with a 22-yard strike to receiver Marques Colston, the 60th time they have hooked up for a score since both joined the franchise in 2006. Then he swung a pass to running back Pierre Thomas for a 1-yard score. Following a short Darren Sproles touchdown run Brees hit the dynamic play-maker with a 28-yard TD pass on a screen play.

Rookie Kenny Stills joined in on the fun when he came down with a 52-yard bomb that gave the Saints a 42-17 lead.

Mark Ingram cracked the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career. The former Heisman Trophy winner, had runs of 32 and 31 yards plus a 4-yard TD run. In by far his best game as a Saint, he finished with 145 yards on 14 carries as the Saints ran the ball 35 times for 239 yards and three TDs.