ARLINGTON, Texas — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, hardly ever one to react to something constructive or adverse on the sideline, couldn’t assist however cowl his eyes and grimace after a second Cowboys defensive rating earlier than halftime.
The Patriots’ first two losses of the season — hard-fought in opposition to Eagles and Dolphins — may very well be seen as ethical victories on the time. They beat the Zach Wilson-led Jets in largely unconvincing vogue in a rainstorm.
But this. This was a dismantling.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was benched for Bailey Zappe late within the third quarter of the 38-3 loss after two of his three turnovers led to Cowboys defensive scores.
Patriots heart David Andrews stated the whole crew needed to look itself within the mirror after to attempt to right every thing.
“I think we all have some confidence issues after a performance like that,” Andrews stated.
The Patriots’ offense appeared worse than it did at any level final season with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge operating the present. Jones got here out firing and appeared stable by the primary quarter, main the Patriots on a gap eight-play, 69-yard subject goal-scoring drive, till he tried to evade strain by operating upfield on second and 12 with 11:17 left within the second quarter. Linebacker Dante Fowler caught him from behind for a strip-sack that was recovered by linebacker Leighton Vander Esch for a defensive landing.
Jones was almost intercepted on the Patriots’ subsequent drive — a three-and-out — on a dangerous go to veteran broad receiver DeVante Parker.
Then after an eight-play, 27-yard drive that noticed proper guard Mike Onwenu commit his third penalty of the sport — this one a holding name after two false begins — Jones threw a pick-six to cornerback DaRon Bland on an ill-advised cross-field throw to Kendrick Bourne on second-and-10 with 1:07 left within the half.
The Cowboys led 28-3 (there could be no comeback this time in opposition to a Dan Quinn-led protection) off of the 2 defensive touchdowns, the primary of which was adopted by a profitable two-point conversion on a faux further level, two 23-yard subject targets and a 20-yard go from quarterback Dak Prescott to high broad receiver CeeDee Lamb one play after rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez left the sport with a shoulder harm. That left Myles Bryant on Lamb in an advantageous matchup for the Cowboys.
Gonzalez didn’t return to the sport.
The second half didn’t begin any higher for Jones, who was picked off once more by Bland on a fourth-and-2 passing try to broad receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. Bland merely outmuscled Smith-Schuster for the ball. The Cowboys responded offensively with a subject aim.
After another three-and-out, Jones was benched for Bailey Zappe with a 12-of-21, 150-yard, two-interception stat line. Zappe, who was lower after a disappointing efficiency in coaching camp and preseason, went 4-of-8 for 57 yards.
The Cowboys scored another landing in rubbish time after exterior linebacker Matthew Judon suffered an elbow harm and didn’t return to the sport.
Now 1-3 with two of their finest gamers damage, their quarterback coming off of a benching, a run sport that may barely common greater than 2 yards per carry, and a protection that allow QB Dak Prescott full over 80% of his passes, this was a low level for the Patriots in a post-Tom Brady age.
WR Demario Douglas: The rookie nonetheless isn’t getting sufficient taking part in time. The most fun Patriots play in Sunday’s loss was a 42-yard completion from Jones to Douglas that noticed the slot receiver put a reverse transfer on Donovan Wilson that made the Cowboys security cease in his tracks.
TE Hunter Henry: Probably the Patriots’ finest present offensive participant, Henry made a implausible one-handed catch early within the third quarter. He completed with 4 catches on 5 targets for 51 yards.
Pass rush: It didn’t do a lot good, however the Patriots had been capable of strain QB Dak Prescott, ending with three sacks and 7 whole quarterback hits. Linebacker Jahlani Tavai, defensive finish Deatrich Wise and linebacker Josh Uche registered sacks.
QB Mac Jones: Sunday served as a disastrous efficiency for a crew that doesn’t have a greater choice at quarterback. Will Grier can be on the roster as an emergency third quarterback after being signed off of the Bengals’ observe squad.
RB Rhamondre Stevenson: The third-year professional was one of many Patriots’ finest gamers final season. His horrid begin to the season continued Sunday with 14 carries for 30 yards. The offensive line isn’t serving to, however Stevenson isn’t producing massive performs or efficiently creating yards on his personal.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster: The Patriots’ high-priced free-agent addition laid one other egg, catching one 14-yard go on 5 targets.