The Dallas Cowboys lost control of their playoff fate Sunday - for about three hours.
Drew Brees threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns and led a drive ending in Garrett Hartley's winning 20-yard field goal in overtime, and the New Orleans Saints beat the Cowboys 34-31 in a game that turned out to be meaningless to the postseason hopes of both teams.
The Saints knew they couldn't make the playoffs even before they turned away a two-touchdown rally by Dallas in the final 3:35 of regulation. Minnesota's win over Houston took care of that.
The Cowboys lamented the loss in a third straight game decided on the final play, but the New York Giants falling 33-14 at Baltimore later Sunday left Dallas in essentially the same position. With a win at Washington in next weekend's finale - now flexed for prime time - the Cowboys go to the postseason as NFC East champions.
''Even if we would have won today, we would have needed that game next week obviously,''...