NEW ORLEANS — The Cowboys offense that had been so explosive early in the season failed to create enough big plays, falling to the Saints 12-10, marking the Cowboys first loss of the season.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott says his unit needs to take full responsibility, “I think this one’s on us,” said Prescott. “I think this was about our lack of execution. Regardless of the way they were doing things, there were a lot of plays left out there, on my part, on this whole offense’s part.”

The Cowboys, unlike they had done in the season’s first three games, struggled to keep drives going. They converted 4-of-11 third downs for just 36 percent.

There were numerous miscues. Prescott missed an open Randall Cobb in the end zone after Prescott made a nifty spin move to buy time and break out of the pocket.

“We just didn’t execute,” said Prescott. “We didn’t do what we needed to do. We didn’t perform in the passing game in the run game as well as we have in the past few weeks. This will be a great learning experience for us, and we’ll take a lot from it.”

The Cowboys suffered a pair of killer turnovers on the final two possession of the first half. Jason Witten made a 16-yard catch to convert a third-down opportunity, but then had the ball knocked out and the Saints recovered the fumble.

“I always say having a turnover is the worse feeling in the world because you feel like you let everybody down,” said Witten.

The Cowboys also gained enough yardage to convert a fourth-and-one situation in their final possession of the first half, but Zeke Elliott fumbled it away and Saints defensive back Von Bell made his second recovery of the half.

“Very disappointing,” said receiver Amari Cooper. “We weren’t really very productive on offense, how we need to be, so we just got to go back to the drawing board.”

Making matters worse, offensive lineman Tyron Smith left late in the game with what team owner Jerry Jones called a high ankle sprain. He left the locker room after the game in a walking boot on his right leg.

The 3-and-1 Cowboys host the Packers next week at AT&T Stadium.