Coming off of a critical win against the Detroit Lions last Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys are facing their toughest test of the season this week against the New England Patriots.
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The Cowboys received the ball first began their first drive of the game from the 25-yard line. After a poor start, the Cowboys were forced to punt the ball after a three and out, giving the Patriots the advantage early.
Led by the running game on their first drive, New England moved the chains for a pair of first downs and got the ball near midfield. The Cowboys defense stopped them their, however, forcing a Tom Brady incompletion and a New England Punt.
On the following drive, the Cowboys used a New England pass interference, followed by two first downs from Zeke Elliott to get the ball into Patriot territory in a hurry. After a Tyron Smith penalty derailed things, Dallas was forced to settle for a field goal attempt. Maher missed the attempt, keeping things scoreless.
The Cowboys defense gave up a big run to Sony Michel at the start of the next Patriot drive but ultimately forced another punt after Tom Brady was sacked. Dallas took over to start the next drive at the 19.
After another Tyron Smith penalty put the Cowboys in second and long, they were unable to move the chains. The Patriots blocked the ensuing punt, setting themselves up deep in Dallas territory to start the next drive.
The Patriots took quick advantage of the Dallas mistake, with rookie wideout N'Keal Harry catching a touchdown pass over Byron Jones, and giving his team an early 7-0 lead.
The next Dallas drive was not much better, as Dak Prescott was intercepted at his own 29-yard-line by Stephon Gilmore. Dallas was able to hold the Patriots to a field goal attempt, however, making the score 10-0 New England.
Dallas used the run heavily on their next possession and moved the ball effectively as a result. After a bad missed throw on third down from Prescott, the Cowboys settled for field goal attempt which Maher hit from 46 yards out, making the score 10-3 New England.
A couple of big pass plays to set up the Patriots well on their next drive. The Dallas defense stood tall again, however, holding New England to a 46-yard field goal attempt, which they missed, leaving the score 10-3 Patriots.
Now wearing two gloves, Dak Prescott led the Cowboys into Patriots territory with his arm, only for the drive to stall. Maher would hit the ensuing 27-yard attempt, cutting the New England lead to 10-6 with 2:28 to go in the half.
New England had a chance to add points at the end of the second half after Brady drove the Patriots down the field. Nick Folk missed his second the field goal of the game, however, leaving the score at 10-6 heading into the locker room for halftime.
The Cowboys defense continued to play well to start the second half, forcing a three and out for New England on their first possession of the third quarter. Dallas took over the ball from their own 25 after the Patriots punt went into the end zone for a touchback.
The Cowboys could not take advantage of the New England punt, however, and followed up with their own three-and-out, punting the ball a back to the Patriots, who took over from their own 27.
The defensive struggle continued from there, with the Cowboys sacking Brady on third down to force a New England punt. After a 28-yard kick, the Cowboys took over in good field position from their own 30.
After a three and out by each team, the Cowboys were able to move the chains and finally get another first down. From there, however, their drive was stalled thanks to a third penalty of the day from Tyron Smith. After a miscue on the punt by Dallas, New England took over from their own 38.
After the special teams snafu, the Patriots easily moved the ball down the field behind Brady's arm, getting all the way down to the Dallas 20 yard line. After back-to-back big tackles for loss by DeMarcus Lawrence and Michael Bennett, however, the Cowboys were able to force New England to settle for another field goal. Folk hit the field goal, making the score 13-6 Patriots with 9:32 to go.
Despite nearly giving up a huge special teams turnover, Prescott hit Randall Cobb for a 59-yard reception to put the offense inside New England territory. After Zeke caught a screen to move Dallas inside the Patriots red zone, the drive stalled, and Jason Garrett elected to kick a field goal, making it 13-9 Patriots.
Following the field goal, the Patriots crossed midfield and burned significant time off of the clock, but were ultimately stopped by the Cowboys and forced to punt. Dallas took over from its own six, with just 2:38 remaining in the game.
The Cowboys were unable to move the ball on their last drive, turning the ball over on downs after Amari Cooper was unable to hold on to the fourth-down reception. The Patriots then converted the first down, ending the game.