Saints Hold Off Cowboys 16-10

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Quincy Carter found out very early Saturday night that it takes more than a powerful right arm to look good in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys' top draft pick, who became the starter this week, looked befuddled and beleaguered. His first memorable pass went to Saints cornerback Michael Hawthorne, who returned it 19 yards to give New Orleans a 7-0 lead in the first quarter of a 16-10 victory. Carter completed just 3-of-12 passes for 5 yards against the starting defense for the Saints. He was pressured constantly and spent much of his time scrambling or looking for receivers. The Saints got 35-yard and 27-yard field goals by John Carney and a 28-yard field goal from Jon Hilbert. New Orleans had 305 yards in total offense to 168 for Dallas. The Cowboys were 0-for-13 on third-down conversions. The Saints' quarterback race seemed to tip toward Aaron Brooks. Brooks, who replaced an injured Jeff Blake late last season, played the first half Saturday. After completing 10-of-10 in the first preseason game, Brooks started 5-for-10 against Dallas, but finished completing 12-of-18 for 103 yards despite heavy pressure from the Cowboys. He was blitzed frequently and sacked four times. Blake played the second half, directing the Saints' second-string offense. He completed 9-of-22 for 132 yards. He was sacked once and intercepted once.

Ricky Williams gained 38 yards on 13 carries and Deuce McAllister, the Saints' top draft pick this season, gained 23 yards on six carries. McAllister also returned six punts for 62 yards and two kicks for 33 yards. Dallas managed only 53 yards of offense in the first half, only 47 yards against the Saints' first-string defense, had only two first downs and did not convert a single third-down. Even the preseason debut of running back Emmitt Smith did not help. Smith gained 15 yards on six carries. Carter left the game with 6:45 left in the third quarter and finished completing 5-of-17 for 27 yards. Carter was replaced Anthony Wright who completed 5-of-10 for 62 yards and also was intercepted once. Dallas scored on a 37-yard field goal in the second quarter by Tim Seder. The Cowboys added a touchdown in the fourth quarter when Kareem Larrimore intercepted Blake and returned it 95 yards to score, cutting the Saints' lead to 13-10.