Patriots

Patriots drop heartbreaker at home to Cowboys in overtime

The Patriots fought back to take a late lead on a big Mac Jones touchdown pass but couldn't stop the Cowboys when it mattered most.

Mac Jones Patriots
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws while pressured by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis (26). AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
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The Patriots battled hard against the Cowboys in a game few expected them to win, but they simply couldn’t get it done in the end.

New England (2-4) dropped a heartbreaker to Dallas (5-1) in overtime of a 35-29 game that was wild from the start to the finish.

Here’s a recap of the good, bad and ugly from the Patriots’ latest home defeat.

End of Game

7:50 p.m.: Touchdown. Game over. Cowboys win.

Prescott rolls out and hits CeeDee Lamb from 35 yards out to end it in overtime. Lamb beat Jalen Mills on the play.

The young Cowboys receiver had a monster game against New England, catching nine balls for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Prescott threw for 445 yards, three touchdowns, and one pick.

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The Patriots have now gone winless in their first four home games for the first time since 1993.

7:47 p.m.: Matthew Judon and the pass rush struggling to keep Dak Prescott in the pocket on back-to-back completions, one of which was a first-down toss to CeeDee Lamb.

The Patriots just haven’t been able to get home on Prescott today, and it’s hurt.

7:44 p.m.: New England got conservative on first and second down to no available, and then Mac Jones can’t hook up with Nelson Agholor on third down. Patriots have to punt.

Agholor also had a brutal drop on the first play of the drive that could’ve been a huge play. He had his man beat on a slant and could’ve taken off for big yardage if he hauled it in.

7:42 p.m.: How did Mac Jones complete that one?!

Jones takes a lick from a blitzing Jayron Kearse again but dots it to Jakobi Meyers for a clutch first down.

7:39 p.m.: We got free football in Foxborough, folks.

The Patriots will play their first overtime game of the year against Dallas after a barn-burning fourth quarter.

New England wins the toss and will try to end this one with a touchdown here.

7:33 p.m.: Just when you thought the Dallas Cowboys might be done for after a bad unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from guard Connor Williams, Prescott completed a strike to CeeDee Lamb on 3rd-and-25 to get Dallas back into field-goal range.

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Greg Zuerlein redeems himself by nailing the game-tying kick from 49 yards out to tie the game at 29-29.

Mac Jones had a huge play to put the Patriots back into the game, and Prescott returns the favor.

7:22 p.m.: ARE YOU KIDDING?!? Patriots touchdown!

Kendrick Bourne snags the very next play from scrimmage and takes it 75 yards to the house.

Bourne broke away from coverage on a double-move and escaped from a bad angle from the safety to run away for a score, and Gillette Stadium nearly ascended into the stratosphere.

Then, Mac Jones completes a two-point conversion to Jakobi Meyers to make the score 29-26 in favor of New England. That’s the third lead change in four minutes.

What a game. Dallas now has about two minutes left to tie or win it.

7:18 p.m.: Pick-six. Pain. Jones’s pass bounces off the hands of Kendrick Bourne and into the hands of Jones’s old Alabama teammate Trevon Diggs, who takes it to the house for 42 yards and a score.

Dallas’ two-point conversion attempt is no good, making the score 26-21 Cowboys.

Wow.

The throw to Bourne was too little high and out in front, and it ended in disaster.

Jones now has to lead a touchdown drive to save the day.

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7:14 p.m.: Greg Zuerlein’s kick is no good, and New England comes up with a MASSIVE stop that might save the game. Justin Bethel almost blocked that one screaming off the edge, and it seemed to affect Zuerlein’s boot.

On third down, Josh Uche ran down Dak Prescott on a scramble to trip him up a yard short of the goal line. Incredible effort.

Patriots get the ball back with under three minutes to go.

7 p.m.: What a gutsy drive from the Patriots to take the lead back with under seven minutes left to play in the game, capped off by a bulldozing Rhamondre Stevenson one-yard touchdown run. It’s now 21-20 New England.

Highlights included Damien Harris’s tackler-dragging, 21-yard run and Mac Jones’s dart to Jakobi Meyers, who took a shot on the play, for 11 yards. The offense also completed three third downs on the 13-play, 75-yard drive.

Jones absorbed a major blow from defensive back Jayron Kearse on a blitz a couple plays before completing it to Meyers. Yet another tough performance from the young quarterback.

Stevenson, meanwhile, has played solid football all day when spelling Harris, who limped off the field at the end of that drive.

6:50 p.m.: There’s your key stop. The Patriots shrug off some big plays from the Cowboys early in the drive and turn the heat up on Prescott to force a few incompletions down inside Dallas’ 30-yard line. Cowboys settle for a field goal to make the score 20-14 in their favor.

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It’s getting close to now-or-never time for the Patriots. Whether they like it or not, it’s time to put this game in Mac Jones’s hands and take the training wheels off a bit.

Another failure to put up points might put this one in the books.

Fourth quarter

6:43 p.m.: That’s the end of the third quarter. Dallas is driving but just committed a false start to set up 1st-and-15 when the final frame begins.

The Patriots badly need a stop right here to avoid going down two scores and possibly letting the game get out of touch.

6:40 p.m.: Mac Jones delivers too far out in front of Jakobi Meyers on a 3rd-and-4 slant route that was open, forcing yet another punt. That was actually Jones’s first incompletion of the game. He’s now 10-of-11 for 115 yards and a touchdown.

Then, the Cowboys dodge a major bullet as Cedric Wilson coughs it up on the punt return but Dallas manages to get the ball back.

The Patriots just can’t come up with a game-changing play right now.

6:34 p.m.: A costly pass interference penalty in the end zone finally burns the Patriots, and CeeDee Lamb beats Jalen Mills for a one-yard touchdown catch. The extra point makes it 17-14 Cowboys.

The Patriots’ defense had held Dallas down for much of the day and limited the red-zone damage to that point, but eventually something’s got to give.

Lamb also had a long catch-and-run that drive where it looked like he should’ve been stopped for a much shorter gain but was simply allowed to gash New England’s defense for 20-plus yards after the grab.

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6:21 p.m.: For whatever reason, Brandon Bolden gets a third-down carry after Rhamondre Stevenson had played well all drive, and Bolden gets stuffed in the backfield to force a punt for what feels like the 10th time this season already.

One wonders if that might have been on Mac Jones not checking out of a bad running play or if it was just Josh McDaniels keeping things too conservative.

Either way, it’s another Patriots punt.

Another note: as predicted, Isaiah Wynn just got benched for Justin Herron at left tackle. Herron is manning the left while Michael Onwenu has finally fulfilled his destiny and taken over at right tackle after Yodny Cajuste let Randy Gregory treat Mac Jones like a tackling dummy earlier.

6:14 p.m.: Another big 3-and-out forced by the Patriots defense as J.C. Jackson breaks up a third-down throw intended for CeeDee Lamb. Jackson had talked a big game all week, and he backed it up there.

New England seems to have a good plan for Dak Prescott and the Dallas offense so far, forcing Prescott to hold the ball a while on second down before checking down.

6:10 p.m.: Isaiah Wynn is back in at left tackle, and the results were not pretty on that first Patriots drive of the second half.

Randy Gregory absolutely worked him for a lightning-fast sack on Mac Jones to force a New England punt. Gregory was also the guy who punished Jones on the strip-sack earlier in the game.

Wouldn’t be surprised if we see Justin Herron at left tackle again if that keeps happening.

Third quarter

5:49 p.m.: Halftime in Foxboro, and wow, what a weird game this is.

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Score is 14-10, and New England has its defense to thank for that.

With just over a minute left in the half, Ja’Whaun Bentley stripped Dak Prescott as he stretched the ball over the goal line, and the Patriots recovered the football in the end zone for a touchback.

Just a play before, Prescott might have gotten into the end zone on a quarterback sneak but was ruled short of the goal line.

The Patriots defense has been put in tough positions in this game but has allowed just three points after the opening drive, taking the ball away from Dallas twice in the red zone.

On top of that, Mac Jones has had an outstanding game aside from the sack-fumble he surrendered. His first-half passing line: 7-for-7 for 100 yards, a touchdown and a perfect 158.3 passer rating.

5:45 p.m.: Two-minute warning.

The Patriots are battling to keep Dallas out of the end zone from the 1-yard line after the blocked punt puts the defense in a tough spot before the half.

5:40 p.m.: Yet another critical mistake might be about to flip this game in the Cowboys’ favor: Dallas blocks Jake Bailey’s punt and recovers it at the 17-yard line.

Jahlani Tavai let a man in scot-free to allow the Patriots’ second blocked punt of the season.

This came after a pass from Mac Jones to Jakobi Meyers looked like it would be a sure first down only to see Meyers fall down inches short of the line to gain.

Game of inches…

5:32 p.m.: Jon Jones is back in the game, and he just saved a touchdown.

The Cowboys thought they had six points on a brilliant throw from Dak Prescott to Cedric Wilson on an out route in the end zone, but Jones snuck his arm in and ripped the ball out as Wilson tumbled to the ground.

Dallas has to settle for a field goal. 14-10. Plays like that could help the Patriots steal this game.

5:23 p.m.: Terrible turn of events for the Patriots as Mac Jones fumbles on a sack just after a touchdown throw to Jakobi Meyers got wiped out by a hold.

The Cowboys’ Randy Gregory just torched right tackle Yodny Cajuste and crushed an unsuspecting Jones, who lost his first fumble of the season.

Just before that, Meyers thought he had his first career touchdown catch only to see officials calling a holding penalty on James Ferentz.

Dallas gets it back down just one score after looking like it was about to be 21-7.

5:15 p.m.: Kyle Dugger interception!

Justin Bethel gets his hands on a Prescott throw intended for Cedric Wilson that pops up into the air and into the Dugger’s clutches.

Dugger then runs it out and gets a solid return out to the 25-yard line.

HUGE play from the embattled secondary that could swing the momentum firmly into the Patriots’ favor early, and great recovery by Bethel after giving up a catch on his first play in the game.

Second quarter

5:08 p.m.: Quarter is over. 14-7 Patriots, but the Cowboys are driving pretty easily down the field and are setting up for another score.

Prescott just completed a throw to Amari Cooper down to New England’s 30-yard line against Justin Bethel, who just replaced the injured Jonathan Jones.

Pass defense looks optional so far for both sides in this one.

5:04 p.m.: The Patriots catch another break as a deep connection from Prescott to Wilson gets wiped off the board by an illegal-hands-to-the-face penalty on left tackle Tyron Smith.

Slot corner Jonathan Jones is down on the field, which is not a good sign for a depleted cornerback room.

Just before that, New England couldn’t stop Dallas on fourth down a second time, with Ezekiel Elliott breaking contain on Kyle Dugger to pick up 4th-and-1.

4:54 p.m.: Touchdown No. 2 for the Patriots goes from Mac Jones to Hunter Henry on a pretty seam throw off of play-action. Nick Folk sneaks the extra point through to make it 14-7.

Jones put great touch on the throw to slip the ball into Henry before the safety could come down and break up the pass while also keeping his tight end out of harm’s way on the catch.

The rookie quarterback is now 4-for-4 for 65 yards. Rhamondre Stevenson has two of those grabs for 36 yards and added a four-yard rush while being the first man off the bench.

4:52 p.m.: Rhamondre Stevenson sighting!

The rookie rips off two catches to get New England in business — first, a 13-yard catch-and-run, and then a nifty route against speedy linebacker Micah Parsons that went for 23 yards.

Most importantly, he’s held onto the football. As long as he does that, he’ll stay on the field.

4:43 p.m.: Cowboys answer quickly with a touchdown throw from Dak Prescott to Blake Jarwin and an extra point of their own. 7-7 tie.

That series was aided by some terrible luck for the Patriots as a Prescott throw off the hands of Dallas receiver Cedrick Wilson seemed to hang in the air but bounced right into the hands of tight end Dalton Schultz for a first down.

Schultz also had a big catch from Prescott to get the ball to the 1-yard line on that drive. Prescott was 6-for-6. Made it look easy.

4:37 p.m.: Touchdown, Damien Harris. He takes it in out of the wildcat formation from four yards out. 7-0 New England.

That drive only took three plays after Dallas gifted them the ball with amazing field position thanks to that ill-advised fourth-down gamble.

Just like that, the Patriots have scored their first first-quarter touchdown since Week 2.

4:36 p.m.: The call does stand. Patriots ball on the Cowboys’ 34-yard line.

And Damien Harris immediately storms through for a 16-yard gain on New England’s first play from scrimmage.

4:32 p.m.: What a wild first sequence of the game.

Dallas goes for it on 4th-and-1 from their own 34-yard line, and New England stuffs them. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is challenging the play, but it looks like the call might stand.

4:25 p.m.: The Patriots win the toss and defer. Dallas will get the ball first, Patriots will get it to start the second half.

First quarter

3:59 p.m.: The Patriots’ offensive line group in warmups indicates New England will only have one starter in the lineup once again.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss and others report the line from left to right during warmups went as follows: Justin Herron (LT), James Ferentz (LG), David Andrews (C), Ted Karras (RG), Yodny Cajuste (RT). That’s the same group that played last week against Houston and performed admirably.

Starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn and left guard Michael Onwenu are both active after coming off the Reserve/COVID list but reportedly warmed up with the second team.

Unless the Patriots are trying to mind-game the Cowboys on a whole new level, they won’t play in this one barring injury.

3:35 p.m.: Warmups are for getting the kinks out, of course. But if these warmups are any indication of what will happen in the game, field goals might be an adventure today.

A few sources, including NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry, reported the normally reliable Nick Folk had an erratic pre-game session, “spraying” the ball more than he typically does.

Folk had his franchise record of 36 straight field goal makes snapped against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but got back to his accurate ways against the Houston Texans.

Hopefully he just needed to get a feel for the swirling wind.

3 p.m.: New England has released its inactive list ahead of game time, headlined by starting right guard Shaq Mason.

Joejuan Williams’s inclusion on this list bodes well for Jalen Mills’s return to the lineup after missing last week’s game.

Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson should see a steady role for the second straight week as J.J. Taylor stays inactive.

Meanwhile, starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn will be active against Dallas after coming off the COVID list on Saturday. Whether or not he plays/how much he plays remains unclear.

2:37 p.m.: The Patriots might get some good news on the offensive line — well, about as good as it can be at this point.

Justin Herron, who started last week at left tackle but was limited in practice this week with a back injury, is warming up at Gillette Stadium prior to the game.

With Trent Brown still out, Herron is likely to get a start at one of the tackle spots again. The question is: which one? Isaiah Wynn has been activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list but hasn’t practiced all week.

If Wynn can’t go today, Herron will likely start on the left side again with Yodny Cajuste manning right tackle. If Wynn plays, Herron probably gets first crack at right tackle.

Pre-game

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