Saints set NFL first down record in win over Cowboys

The Saints set an NFL record for the most first downs in a game (40) and Drew Brees passed for 392 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-17 victory against the Dallas Cowboys in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Brees completed 34 of 41 passes.

The previous mark for the most first downs in a game was 39, which was tied three times prior to Sunday

Brees and the Saints offense did their best work in the first half.

The Saints led 7-3 in the first quarter when Brees threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to receiver Marques Colston. It was Colston's first touchdown reception since the season opener.

But the Cowboys came back with a touchdown of their own on the ensuing possession to take a 10-7. Running back Demarco Murray ran around left end for a 7-yard touchdown with 14:05 left in the second quarter.

Then the Saints scored 21 unanswered points to take a 28-10 lead at halftime. Running back Pierre Thomas had a 1-yard touchdown run to give New Orleans a 14-10 lead with 4:18 left. Darren Sproles had a 3-yard touchdown run to make the score 21-10 with 2:29 remaining. Brees finished the scoring with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Sproles with 48 seconds left.

Brees completed 26 of 30 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. He threw a team record 19 consecutive completions in the first half.

The Saints increased their lead to 35-10 when Mark Ingram scored on a 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.