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Sep 28, 2014 9:54 PM

Romo, Cowboys rolling over Saints 24-0 at halftime

The Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Tony Romo threw two touchdown passes to Terrance Williams, DeMarco Murray ran for another score and the Dallas Cowboys led the New Orleans Saints 24-0 at halftime Sunday night.

The Cowboys held Drew Brees and the Saints scoreless in the first half after giving up an NFL-record 40 first downs in a 49-17 blowout loss in New Orleans last year.

Dallas, trying to get to 3-1 for the first time after a 2-1 start in each of coach Jason Garrett's four full seasons, went 80 yards in 12 plays on the opening possession.

Romo had a pair of third-down completions to tight end Jason Witten, and Murray had an 11-yard run to put it inside the 10 two plays before Williams' leaping 6-yard catch in the end zone.

Romo completed all nine of his first-quarter passes and was 17 of 22 for 202 yards at halftime. He found Williams for a second score from 23 yards for a 24-0 lead with 19 seconds left in the half.

Murray ran virtually untouched around right end for a 15-yard score two plays after Bruce Carter tipped a pass from Brees that was intercepted by Justin Durant at the New Orleans 39 in the second quarter. Romo threw underneath to Lance Dunbar for 24 yards to set up Murray's score.

On the verge of joining Emmitt Smith as the only Dallas running backs to rush for 100 yards in the first four games of a season, Murray didn't fumble in the first quarter for the first time this season. He finished the half with 87 yards rushing.

Dallas has lost eight of its last nine against New Orleans and hasn't beaten the Saints at home since 1991.

The Saints stalled stalled on their first drive despite two early defensive penalties for first downs. Brees kept the drive alive with a 6-yard scramble on third down before Dallas cornerback Orlando Scandrick dropped Travaris Cadet for a 1-yard gain on third-and-3 in Dallas territory.

Brees led New Orleans from its 12 to the Dallas 23 in the second quarter before Shayne Graham missed wide right on a 41-yard field goal.

The Cowboys answered with a short drive to Dan Bailey's 51-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead. It was the 29th straight made field goal for Bailey, who broke Chris Boniol's franchise record of 27 last week at St. Louis.

Dallas cornerback Morris Claiborne, who left the facility in anger this past week after learning he wasn't a starter, left the game with a knee injury. His return was questionable.

Claiborne was on the field for the first place before linebacker Rolando McClain replaced him with the Cowboys using multiple formations to try to keep the Saints' offense guessing.



AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL


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