Cowboys miss on third down

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Tony Romo threw for 416 yards. Dez Bryant had nine catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns.

Jason Witten set a single-season record for catches by a tight end in a season. Miles Austin and Dwayne Harris had touchdowns. The Cowboys put up 446 yards and averaged eight yards a play.

And they lost.

Third-down efficiency hurt on offense and defense.

The Cowboys converted just two of 10 third-down opportunities. The Saints converted on 11 of 19 third-down tries.

“In the end, the game comes down to a couple of players here and there,” Romo said. “You have to be able to do the things it takes to extend drives and you have to do the things it takes to stop a drive. We didn’t do that well enough.”

The Cowboys’ final miss on third down came on a slant throw to Bryant. Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson, who was picked on most of the day, came up with the crucial stop in overtime.

“It’s a guy on a guy and with the coverage they had, that was the spot to go with the ball,” Romo said. “It’s a good matchup. We like that matchup ...It’s going to be a contested throw and catch. We did it throughout the game. The other guy made a good play.”