Saints vs. Cowboys: Dallas' Biggest Winners and Losers from Week 16

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Saints vs. Cowboys: Dallas' Biggest Winners and Losers from Week 16
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Cowboys lost to the Saints of New Orleans in overtime Sunday by a score of 34-31. Dallas was down by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter when Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s prophecy almost came true: They started to make a comeback.

Last week, Romo said that if his team is down by 10 to 14 points, they have a great chance to win the game. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but the Cowboys found themselves in that very position Sunday against the Saints.

With just 3:40 left in the game’s last quarter, the Cowboys took just 1:10 seconds off the clock to score a touchdown. Soon after, Romo found receiver Miles Austin for a 19-yard touchdown to tie the game.

Two touchdowns in just 2:24 seconds looked to be pretty impressive for Dallas.

But as overtime started, the Cowboys received the ball and couldn’t make any headway. They were forced to punt to New Orleans, and then madness ensued.

On 2nd-and-9 from the Cowboys 33, Saints quarterback Drew Brees found receiver Marques Colston for a nine-yard gain, but as he caught the ball and brought it into his body, Cowboys corner Morris Claiborne punched the ball out.

As the ball went tumbling to the ground, it rolled forward all the way down to the Cowboys 2-yard line after being helped along the way by Saints tight end Jimmy Graham and Cowboys safety Eric Frampton.

Graham ended up recovering the ball, but controversy is sure to follow. As soon as the game ended, fans, and some pundits, were questioning if the ball’s aided progress toward the 2-yard line was legal.

No matter, as the catch was upheld as well as Graham’s recovery. The Saints trotted kicker Garrett Hartley out on the field for an easy 20-yard field goal to end the game.

The Cowboys dropped to 8-7, and the Saints improved to 7-8. The Cowboys' playoff hopes aren’t dead, but they will need a little assistance.

Dallas has to count on a Giants loss this evening and beat the Redskins next week for a berth into the playoffs.

Coming into this game, the Cowboys controlled their own destiny, which is no longer true.

This was the third game in three weeks for the Cowboys that was decided on the last play. This time, Dallas was on the losing end.

So, who is at fault for the Cowboys' inability to win such a vital football game? Here are 10 winners and losers from week 16. 

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