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New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys

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Patriots vs. Cowboys recap: Mac Jones falls apart in 38-3 loss

New England falls to 1-3 on the year.

Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

The New England Patriots entered Week 4 hoping to get their second consecutive win on the year. The exact opposite happened, as Mac Jones had perhaps his worst game in a Patriots uniform en route to a 38-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Here’s everything that went down in Dallas.

Final Score: (1-3) Patriots 3 : 38 Cowboys (3-1)

Sunday, October 1, 1:00 p.m. ET | AT&T Stadium, Arlington TX | Broadcast information | Inactives | Game day roster

First Quarter

The Cowboys won the toss and elected to receive, putting New England’s defense on the field first. Dak Prescott got off to a hot start, as he hit Michael Gallup for a 28-yard gain and then immediately connecting with Jalen Tolbert for 18 more yards. After a pair of completions to Jake Ferguson set up a third-and-goal, where New England took down Tony Pollard for a loss. Brandon Aubrey then hit a 23-yard field goal. [Patriots 0 : 3 Cowboys]

New England opened the game in their 13 personnel package, where a play-action look resulted in a 14-yard completion to Hunter Henry. On the following third-down, Mac Jones was forced out of the pocket before connecting with a wide open Demario Douglas, who juked out a Cowboys defender en route to a 42-yard gain. Facing a then third-down just outside the five-yard line, Jones’ pass just fell incomplete to Gesicki. Chad Ryland hit through a 29-yard field goal to tie the game. [Patriots 3 : 3 Cowboys]

Dallas’ second drive started on the ground before Prescott then found Brandin Cooks for 11 yards. The Cowboys then picked up a handful of first downs to move the ball right outside the red area, where cornerback Christina Gonzalez was banged up making a tackle. With Gonzalez sidelined, Dallas immediately attacked Myles Bryant in 1-on-1 coverage with Ceedee Lamb, who hauled in a 20-yard touchdown. [Patriots 3 : 10 Cowboys]

The Patriots turned to Ezekiel Elliott to begin their next possession, as the former Cowboy picked up 13 total yards on two straight carries. Jones then hit Gesicki over the middle of the field for 12 more yards. On a third-and-15, Jones then connected with JuJu Smith-Schuster for 14 yards, setting up a fourth-and-one. Dallas’ defense stood tall on a QB sneak, stopping Jones for a turnover on downs.

Second Quarter

Injury update: CB Christian Gonzalez (shoulder) is questionable to return.

Taking over at their own 41-yard line after the turnover, New England’s defense quickly got off the field as Josh Uche got home for a third-down sack.

After a negative two-yard punt return by Demario Douglas and false start penalty, New England opened with a first-and-15 on their own five-yard line. On second-down, Jones was stripped sacked from behind which Leighton Vander Esch recovered for a touchdown. They then ran a fake extra point, resulting in a two-point conversion. [Patriots 3 : 18 Cowboys]

Following the scoop and score, the Patriots offense could not get anything going on their next drive. On third-and-six, Jones was pressured and forced to throw off his back foot which resulted in the pass to DeVante Parker being broken up.

Prescott and the Cowboys offense then continued their hot start, as the QB hit Jake Ferguson up the seam for 21 yards before hitting Lamb for 12 more yards. Tony Pollard then broke through New England’s defense for 16 yards before Prescott went back to Ferguson to set Dallas up inside the 10. The Patriots’ defense then held strong, forcing another field goal. [Patriots 3 : 21 Cowboys]

Trailing by 18 with just over four minutes left in the half, a 12-yard run by Rhamondre Stevenson was negated due to a Michael Onwenu holding penalty. On second-and-16, Jones threw back across the field to Kendrick Bourne who was then able to pick up the first-down. Following the two-minute warning, Jones hit Hunter Henry on a third-down across midfield to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, Jones again tried to throw back across the field, this time resulting in an interception that DaRon Bland returned for a score. [Patriots 3 : 28 Cowboys]

New England faced an opening third-and-seven with 30 seconds left in the half, which Jones’ pass was dropped by Micah Parsons. The Patriots then punted.

Dallas took back over 16 seconds left in the half. After two completions for 23 total yards, Aubrey was sent out for a 66-yard field goal before a delay of game brought the Cowboys offense back on the field. They then took a knee to go to half.

Third Quarter

New England received the opening kickoff in the second half and started on the ground with back-to-back carries from Stevenson. On third-and-four, Jones lofted a pass downfield to Henry who made a speculator one handed catch for 21 yards. New England then faced a fourth-and-two at the Dallas 38-yard line, where Jones pass to Smith-Schuster was intercepted.

Injury update: CB Christian Gonzalez (shoulder) has been downgraded to out.

The Cowboys took over at their own 48 after the INT and quickly moved the ball into the red area. A pair of Tony Pollard touched then moved the ball to the six, where Prescott was then sacked by Jahlani Tavai. Aubrey knocked through a 33-yard field goal to extend their lead. [Patriots 3 : 31 Cowboys]

Mac Jones’ struggles continued on the next drive, as he missed an open DeVante Parker over the middle of the field on third-down. New England then punted.

Dallas again worked their way down outside the red area after a handful of short gains and a face-mask penalty on Christian Barmore. New England’s defense, however, again held tough as Deatrich Wise sacked Prescott on fourth-down.

Bailey Zappe took over for Mac Jones at quarterback for the Patriots on their following drive. Zappe connected with DeVante Parker for 11 yards but that was all the unit’s success. Zappe’s third-down pass to Smith-Schuster was incomplete as the receiver could only get one foot in bounds.

Fourth Quarter

Dallas picked up a first-down through the air shortly before New England saw another potential disaster as Matthew Judon remained down on the turf. A then third-and-12 screen came up short of the sticks and led to a punt.

Zappe’s first-down pass was completed to Henry for four yards, but New England then went three-and-out.

Injury update: LB Matthew Judon (elbow) is doubtful to return.

The Cowboys regained possession and immediately hit a big play in the screen game as Turpin broke free for 46 yards. Myles Bryant made a strong hustle play to force a fumble, but Dallas was able to recover. Dallas then worked it down to the goal line where Hunter Luepke plunged it in for a score. [Patriots 3 : 38 Cowboys]

Bailey Zappe found some success through the air as he hit Kendrick Bourne for 20 yards and then DeVante Parker down the left sideline shortly after for 22 more yards. Zappe was then sacked on second-down and was quickly under pressure on third-down which forced a throwaway. Chad Ryland then pushed a 52 yarder wide right.

With just over four minutes left, Dallas kept the ball on the ground before Cooper Rush hit Turpin for a third-down conversion. Three kneels then killed the clock.

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