The Cowboys lost their match-up with the New England Patriots 13-9, but it wasn’t due to being outplayed by a superior opponent. It was all down to those same mistakes that have cost them numerous times this year already.
With the number one offense facing the league’s top defense, this game showed why it should be points we judge offenses and defenses on, not yardage. Played in cold and wet weather, this was always going to be a tight game. However, you knew it wasn’t going to be the Cowboys’ night when they started badly once more. After trading punts, the Cowboys moved within field goal range but Brett Maher missed from 46 yards. Maher has now missed seven FGs this season and is currently making only 73.1% of his attempts.
The Pats punted on their next possession and the next time Dallas got the ball, they had a punt blocked. Gaining the ball at the Dallas 12-yard line, Brady took full advantage, scoring the only touchdown of the game to give New England a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Cowboys continued to make mistakes, such as Dak Prescott’s interception that led to a field goal and a 10-point lead for the Patriots.
By the time the score hit 13-6, deep into the fourth quarter, the Cowboys had worked their way down to the 11-yard line. Yet the timid coaching staff decided to kick a field goal rather than go for the touchdown that would have drawn them level. Ultimately, Dak and the boys would came up just short at 13-9. It was another close game that Dallas have lost this season but maybe it could have been closer?
Overall, this game was similar to so many Cowboys games this season. Mistakes are leading directly to points being conceded, slows start in the first quarter create deficits that are proving difficult to overcome and bad coaching decisions game after game are costing us points and ultimately wins.
- Stephon Gilmore – five tackles (four solo), two passes defensed and an interception. Gilmore has a good game, keeping Amari Cooper to no catches in a game for the first time this season.
- Dallas defense – held the Patriots to only 13 points and got two sacks, holding Brady to only a 46% completion rate. The defense showed up after a poor few weeks.
The Cowboys are now 6-5 and although they still lead the NFC East, their season is on a knife edge going into the Thanksgiving game against the 8-3 Bills. If we lose to Buffalo, we risk giving the momentum to the Eagles in the divisional race.
One good thing to come out of this game was that it sounded like Jerry Jones has finally seen enough of poor coaching and is contemplating change. This is manna to Cowboys fans who have for years believed we have been held back by poor and timid coaching decisions.
New England, meanwhile, are now 10-1 and, after another poor game from Brady, it’s clear that this team is living off its defense. They’ll struggle against braver, bolder teams willing to find the cracks, open them up and score points.
One other thing that was apparent to me was that both of these teams are well behind both the 49ers and the Ravens – clearly the two best teams in the league at the moment.
Featured Picture – Credit: Elise Amendola/AP