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Ross OK, looks to be Giants' starting corner

NEW ORLEANS - Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are marching toward perfection no more. The Cowboys held off a frenzied rally by the Saints for a 24-17 victory last night.

The loss by the Saints (13-1) left the Indianapolis Colts (14-0) as the NFL's only unbeaten team this season.

The high-scoring Saints trailed 24-3 going into the fourth quarter, then scored two quick touchdowns. After Dallas kicker Nick Folk watched his 24-yard field-goal try clang off the right upright shortly before the two-minute warning, Brees got a final chance to tie it.

Brees moved the Saints into Dallas territory, but on second down, DeMarcus Ware sacked him and forced a fumble that was recovered by the Cowboys with six seconds left.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo passed for 312 yards, including a 49-yarder to Miles Austin for a touchdown. Ware returned from a neck injury that left his status in doubt and was part of a relentless Dallas pass rush that pressured Brees all night.

Marion Barber had two short touchdown runs for the Cowboys (9-5), who ended a two-game skid and proved they were good enough to beat the top team in the NFC in front of a charged-up, hostile crowd.

The Cowboys' troubles in December had been well documented, but this win provided a dramatic boost to their playoff chances.

When Brees hit Lance Moore for a 7-yard score, it gave him 121 scoring passes since he joined New Orleans as a free agent in 2006, a record for a Saints quarterback. The pass pulled the Saints within 24-17 with eight minutes left in the game.

The previous record was held by Aaron Brooks, who threw 120 touchdown passes from 2000-2005.

Brees has 33 touchdown passes this season.

Besides Webster, T Kareem McKenzie (knee) was listed as doubtful for the game. RB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankles/foot) and QB Eli Manning (foot) are probable.

New York Sports