Halftime Report: Cowboys Trying to Survive Special-Teams Foibles, Down 10-6 at Patriots

Mike Fisher

FOXBORO, Mass - The Dallas Cowboys have one of the poorest-performing special-teams units in all of the NFL. The New England Patriots have the best such unit. Therefore, some of what's occurred in this first half at Gillette Stadium is, for the Cowboys, sadly predictable.

The Cowboys trail just 10-6, and the wet and nasty weather has been a factor for both teams. But Dallas has suffered more, with some errant passes from QB Dak Prescott (including an interception) and most of all, with special-teams goof-ups that have placed the Pats in relative control.

In the first quarter alone, Dallas missed a field goal from 46 (fortunately for the Cowboys, the Patriots later did the same - twice, including on the final snap of the half), allowed a blocked punt (which set up a short Tom Brady TD pass) and nearly fumbled away not one but two kickoff returns.

Dallas' defense hasn't given up much, and the Ezekiel Elliott-led running game (Zeke has 61 yards on the ground) might provide some offensive answers.

But this Cowboys work on special teams? Let us politely put it this way: This is how football coaches end up becoming insurance salesmen, broadcasters, forklift drivers and former football coaches.

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