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Sean’s Scout: Timely Stops on Defense, Clutch Passing Game Earn Cowboys Win at Patriots

With a week off ahead, the Dallas Cowboys treated their fans to some extra football ahead of the bye, needing overtime to beat the New England Patriots 35-29 on the road. Keeping their within striking distance was all needed, finding to set up the game tying field goal at the end of regulation and again in overtime for a walk-off touchdown.

Playing against a is always a unique challenge, and the Cowboys proved they can adjust on the fly with . Defensive coordinator also deserves a lot of credit in the win. Mac Jones and the Patriots offense appeared to have the Cowboys defense in for a long day early, but they settled down and came up with stops when needed – creating another score with ' fourth quarter pick six.

Sean's Scout: Timely Stops on Defense, Clutch Passing Game Earn Cowboys Win at Patriots

tells the media after every game that there's plenty to work on, a message his star players have echoed. With a three game lead in the NFC East, the Cowboys focus on claiming more than just the division this year is clear. The extra time to unpack this thrilling game in New England and get their roster healthy comes at an ideal point in the Cowboys' schedule.

Here are my notes on the team's fifth straight win.

The Cowboys aggressiveness on fourth down backfired on their opening drive, putting the defense on it's heels. The Patriots made a great play on 's fourth-and-short carry, but this sequence could have been avoided with a better play on third down. Matt Judon has been one of the most productive players for the Patriots front seven. Moore's third down play called for TE to come across and block Judon, who got under Schultz and made the tackle. The Patriots needed just three plays to score on a short field against a Cowboys defense that had problems getting lined up early.

The best plays from this defense continue to come with rushing the passer. The Cowboys needed their rookie LB to play in coverage more, matching up with Hunter Henry and the Patriots' RBs in the . Still missing DeMarcus Lawrence, the drop off in is noticeable without Parsons. On Randy Gregory's strip sack on Mac Jones, a great individual effort off the blindside, Parsons was rushing opposite of Gregory from right end. Where stepped up last week against the Giants at , allowing Parsons to play down, he struggled making plays in space against New England.

The Cowboys started the second half with consecutive stops on defense, setting up the go-ahead touchdown to Lamb. The idea of halftime adjustments in the NFL gets blown out of proportion a lot, especially with how quickly games against the Patriots can swing. Great plays from Gregory and got Quinn's defense off the field on these drives. Gregory bull rushed the left tackle for his second sack to force the first three and out. The Patriots faced a third and short on the next drive, with Kearse flying off the to tackle Brandon Bolden behind the line. Vander Esch and were in on the play as well.

was back in the lineup for the first time since week one, allowing the Cowboys to play Kearse down in the box, where he's made the biggest impact. Plays like the 75-yard touchdown to Kendrick Bourne late in the fourth should make the Cowboys consider how the rotation of , , and Wilson is deployed after the bye.

Although it was Diggs that took the blame for this touchdown, he stuck with the double move in coverage well, but the blown coverage by Kazee allowed the ball over the top.

Dak Prescott broke the record for passing yards a Patriots team has allowed under Belichick, and trusting his full group of pass catchers is why. The Cowboys offense loves playing for Dak because of his willingness to target whoever is open. When the Patriots forced throws underneath, Prescott extended plays to get the ball to Elliott, , and Dalton Schultz.

There's no better example of the trust Prescott has for his receivers than the fourth down conversion to on the last drive of regulation. Wilson did a great job not allowing the coverage to run him too tight with the sideline, making a great acrobatic catch on a tight-window throw. Four plays later, the Patriots would rush three and play eight in coverage, but the Cowboys route concept still opened Lamb for a clutch 24 yard gain on third and long.


Sean's Scout: Timely Stops on Defense, Clutch Passing Game Earn Cowboys Win at Patriots 2

Winning on the road, no matter how it comes, can cover for a lot of miscues in this league. The Cowboys had more than their share in week six, committing 12 for 115 yards. They were still the only team from the East to come away with a win. Seven wins was the high water mark in the division last year, and the Cowboys have five through six games in 2021.

Following the , they'll play on  against the . The Vikings beat the Panthers on the road in overtime on Sunday, and are allowing an average of just 16 points per game at home this season.

What do you think?

Sean Martin

Written by Sean Martin

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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5 Comments

  1. Dak missed pretty bad on that one throw to Ced Wilson, throwing inside and short, instead of outside and high like it should’ve been, CB tips ball up in the air and it gets picked, no points,

    we were pretty sloppy overall in this game, and i knew that that was the only way the Pats could beat us, but Dak and the boys pulled off a win anyways, which speaks to the growth of our team and the growth of Dak, before this year i would’ve said we’d lose this game, but we pulled it off with some clutch plays from Dak, Ceedee, Parsons, Gregory, and Diggs, we’ll see now after the bye, how will our team be, and it’ll be a interesting game vs. Vikings where they’re getting on a roll as well

  2. I have to disagree with the first statement in this article!! We didn’t NEED overtime to beat the patriots, the refs made the decision for us!! If the booth would have replayed the touchdown Dak ran in on 3rd and goal we wouldn’t have needed overtime, but they didn’t watch the replay, they waited until 4th and goal and for Dak to fumble the ball before they wanted to watch the replay!! And that’s not all of the mess ups those refs 5 made against us either, it’s just a big one that could’ve cost us the game!!
    And I have to agree with cowboy fan Ed…. Dak played great, he broke records in that game!!

  3. Hey Dennis I-usually try to call it the way I see it and the game I watched yesterday I thought Dak played really well throwing for 445 yards and I thought our receivers made some good clutch catches! The one thing that concerns me is that although our defense is head and shoulders better than last year we are still giving up too many points pre game !

  4. I believe the team answered a lot of questions this week in an odd sort of way. They played their sloppiest game, took every opportunity to lose the game and still came out on top on the road against BB and without their starting DT1, LDE, and RT. The Patriots received their usual home field gift refereeing that the AFC-East all know BB has gotten for 2 decades. LVE played horribly in the middle yet…they….still…won! Headed into bye week with hopefully no major injuries (rest that calf, Dak)! 5-1 with a 3 game Divisional lead thru the 1st 1/3 of the season is a mighty nice place to be

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