NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Quincy Carter was intercepted three times Sunday as the New Orleans Saints posted a 13-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
The Dallas loss clinched a playoff spot for Seattle, which beat San Francisco on Saturday and earned the Seahawks their first NFC wild-card spot on the basis of the strength-of-victory tiebreaker. The Cowboys (10-6) doubled their win total from last season in Bill Parcells' first year as coach, but winning on the road in the playoffs will be a major challenge. They lost their last two road contests against playoff teams.
On Sunday, the Saints (8-8) salvaged a .500 season but missed the playoffs for the third straight year under Coach Jim Haslett.
Dallas led early, 7-3, but Aaron Brooks connected with Donte' Stallworth on a 76-yard touchdown 27 seconds in the second quarter to give New Orleans the lead for good.
Carter was 27-of-47 for 290 yards. Brooks was 15-of-32 for 243 yards.