Brandon Weeden and the Cowboys’ offense failed to get anything going in a 30-6 loss to the Patriots, sending the team into the bye week at 2-3. Dallas was forced to punt on all but one first half possession, forcing their defense to keep them in the game.
They did just that, working with three points provided by Dan Bailey in the first quarter, by sacking Tom Brady five times in the first half. Greg Hardy, playing in his first game, recorded two of these sacks.
The fourth three and out of the half for the offense was too much to overcome for the defense however, as Tom Brady marched 55 yards in 2:18 seconds – capping off the drive himself with a one yard QB sneak into the end zone.
Leading 10-3, the Patriots had the ball with the clock ticking down in the first half. Julian Edelman set them up for a field goal with a 24 yard reception, and Stephen Gostkowski put them up 13-3 at the half with a 57 yard kick.
Rob Gronkowski was invisible in the first half, but made his presence felt quickly to begin the second. Working on Byron Jones, he made a 33 yard reception on first and 20. He later converted a third down with a 18 yard catch to the 23.
Dion Lewis finished off the drive, wiggling his way to the end zone from ten yards out to push the lead to 20-3.
The Cowboys appeared to show some fight on the ensuing drive, methodically moving downfield before stalling at the 5 yard line. The eight minute drive resulted in Dan Bailey’s second field goal.
Edelman would all but put the game out of reach on the very next drive, as the Patriots took just 3:19 seconds to score. Edelman burnt the Cowboys secondary for a 59 yard touchdown, making the score 27-6.
The next three possessions would all result in turnovers, with a Weeden interception leading to another Gostkowski field goal. This would produce the final score of 30-6.
Terrance Williams and Jason Witten were all but shut down, making it very tough for Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden to get anything going on the ground.
Dallas will hit the bye week, and expect to get Randy Gregory back as the team travels to MetLife Stadium to face the Giants in two weeks. Gregory should only further improve the defensive line that kept the Cowboys in this game through the first half.
Weeden finished 26 of 39 with the interception, which will surely give the team reason to consider giving Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore more reps during this bye week.
The undefeated Patriots will travel to Indianapolis for a Sunday Night Football match up with the Colts.