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Dominant defense: 8 crazy stats from the Cowboys' upset of the Saints

Eight wild statistics from the Cowboys' unlikely upset of the Saints, in which they stymied the league's top offense.

The Cowboys held the league's top offense (37 points per game on average) to just 10 points for their third win in 11 days and fourth straight win overall. The loss snapped a 10-game win streak for the Saints.

Here are eight crazy statistics from the unlikely upset by the NFC East leaders:

• The Saints were shut out in the first half for the first time in 72 games – what had been the NFL’s longest streak. When Dallas kicked a field goal on its opening possession, the Saints trailed in a game for the first time in more than a month.

• New Orleans came in scoring on almost 70 percent of their drives, and soaked up about 3:15 per possession. Dallas held the Saints to two scoring drives on nine total possessions, and New Orleans had the ball for only 23:07.

Through the first half, they possessed the ball five times without scoring and had the ball for only 8:11.

• The Saints’ 59 first half yards were their fewest in any half since 2002, when Drew Brees was the 23-year-old quarterback of the San Diego Chargers and Aaron Brooks was at the helm for New Orleans. Their 176 total yards Thursday was the fewest in Sean Payton's tenure as head coach.

• Drew Brees threw four straight incompletions to start a game for the first time in his career.

• The Cowboys held the Saints to 176 total yards. New Orleans had 210 in the first half against the Falcons on Thanksgiving, and 190 in the first quarter in Week 11 against Philadelphia.

• Dak Prescott, who came into the game 22nd in the league completing 65.2 percent of his passes and 20th with a 93.2 passer rating, completed 24 of 28 passes (85.7 percent) in the game, including a Cowboys record 18 straight completions over a 42-minute span. He was 15-of-17 in the first half.

Brees, who came in leading the league in both categories, finished a pedestrian 18-of-28 for 127 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

• The Cowboys' fourth-down stop at the one-yard line in the second quarter was… unlikely. New Orleans came in scoring touchdowns on 73 percent of their red zone trips, and had completed 11 of 12 fourth downs in 2018.

• The Saints converted just 3-of-11 third down tries Thursday night. They came into the game converting 46.8 percent of their third downs in 2018, good for sixth in the NFL.