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Saints hold off Dallas comeback, but playoff hopes end despite 34-31 overtime win

  • 86b4b93f06348a24240f6a706700af19.jpg

    New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) passes the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade) (The Associated Press)

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    New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas (23) scores a touchdown as Dallas Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears (96) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade) (The Associated Press)

  • d873df7b069c8c24240f6a7067006bcc.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) is taken down by New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson (21) and strong safety Roman Harper (41) as Saints' Will Smith (91) and Jonathan Vilma (51) move in during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sharon Ellman) (The Associated Press)

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    New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore (16) goes in for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sharon Ellman) (The Associated Press)

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    Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) looks to pass the ball to running back DeMarco Murray (29) during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saint,s Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sharon Ellman) (The Associated Press)

Garrett Hartley kicked a 20-yard field in overtime, and the New Orleans Saints damaged Dallas' playoff hopes with a 34-31 victory against the Cowboys on Sunday.

Drew Brees threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns and led a drive to the winning kick. The Saints all but clinched it when a fumble by Marques Colston rolled forward about 20 yards to the Dallas 2. Jimmy Graham recovered.

The Cowboys lost despite rallying for two touchdowns in the final 3:35 of regulation. Tony Romo, who threw for 416 yards and four scores, hit Miles Austin for the tying touchdown with 15 seconds left in regulation.

The playoff hopes for the Saints (7-8) ended with Minnesota's victory against Houston. The Cowboys (8-7) had a three-game winning streak snapped and lost control of their playoff fate.

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