How the Patriots' frantic overtime loss to the Cowboys unfolded unfolds

How the Patriots' frantic overtime loss to the Cowboys unfolded unfolds ...

Dak Prescott beat Mac Jones in overtime to put the Patriots ahead 35-29 at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

Jones, who tossed a pick-six earlier in the fourth quarter that looked like it would be tipped for New England, very nearly led the Patriots to an upset, passing for 229 yards and converting dozens of touchdowns, including securing 77 yards on arguably the most dramatic fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Kendrick Bourne.

New England is now 2-4 on the season, while the Cowboys are now 5-1.

The Patriots took a 14-7 lead after one quarter when Damien Harris had oblique 4-yard touchdown run and nifty-yard Jones touchdown pass to Hunter Henry, scores that sandwiched jones's 20-foot touchdown rush to Blake Jarwin midway through the first quarter.

The Cowboys then went on a 13-0 run to take the lead, completing dozens of scores, including securing - notably ottawa's touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb in the third and achieving '45-yard field goal' with 13:13 to go in q4 to make it 20-14.

Rhamondre Stevenson scored his first career NFL touchdown, a 1-yard plunge from the 1- yard line, to make it 21-20 halfway through the fourth quarter. After Zuerlein missed a 51-yard field goal with 2:42 left, the Cowboys returned the ball to the Patriots.

Trevon Diggs hit a 42-yard pick-six on Jones, his former Alabama teammate, to make it 26-21 with less than two minutes to go in regulation. Jones then followed with a laser to Bourne, resulting in brisk 75-yard scoring strike that sent Gillette Stadium into soaring panic. It was 29-26 after a successful two-point conversion.

However, with 20 seconds left to play, Prescott and the Cowboys responded again, as Zuerlein ran well from 49 yards out to tie the game and force overtime. With 3:52 remaining in OT, Prescott scored CeeDee Lamb for the game winner.

How the game played out:

That's it. Dallas defeats Dallas 35-29.

The Patriots and Cowboys are headed for overtime.

With 20 seconds remaining, Greg Zuerlein makes it 29-29. The Patriots will get the ball back with one timeout.

What a fantastic game! Jones completed a 75-yard touchdown pass to Bourne, regaining the Patriots' lead. With 2:11 to go, it's 29-26 after the two-pointer was excellent.

Mac Jones, Diggs' former Alabama teammate, returned the play for a touchdown. Dallas now leads 28-21. The attempt to split the two points was unsuccessful. Theres still 2:27 left to go.

The field goal isn't good. The Patriots will get the ball with 2:42 remaining, up one.

That was a huge drive for the Patriots offense, with the team down six midway through the fourth quarter. Jakobi Meyers had a pair of 11-yard receptions to start things, and Damien Harris added scrimmages of 22- and 6-yarders shortly after that to get into the Dallas red zone. Rhamondre Stevenson returned the first regular-season touchdown of his NFL career after Harris picked up a crucial third-down. (The third red-zone touchdown of the day for New England.) With 6:23 to go in regulation, the extra point was useful, and its 21-20 New England.

With 13:13 left in regulation, Dallas is now 20-14. Lets see how New England responds -- youre at a point in the game where you must convert on some of these offensive opportunities.

Its now 17-14 in Dallas heading into the fourth round.

Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, the yards allowed in this one are going to be severely skewed. (Ive always maintained that all stats must be put in some sort of context, anyway.) Just look at the bottom line, and the New England defense has performed better than expected over the first two-plus quarters, limiting the leagues second-best scoring offense (34 points per game) to just two touchdowns. On a 1-yard pass play from Prescott to Lamb, they got their second there. With 4:49 to go in the third quarter, Dallas leads 17-14.

Hightower (elbow) and Winovich (hamstring) are both questionable to return.

Yikes. Randy Gregory slapped Isaiah Wynn on that last third-down run, resulting in a sack, and subsequently drained. With 12:48 left in the third quarter, Dallas will take control of its own 31-yard line.

The Patriots lead the Cowboys 14-10 in Foxborough, and two quarters are in the works. Here are a few quick notes:

  • Mac Jones: 7-for-7, 100 yards, 1 passing TD
  • 5 carries, 34 yards, 1 TD Damien Harris: 5 passes, 35 yards
  • Rhamondre Stevenson: 2 catches on 2 targets, 36 yards
  • Dak Prescott: 17-for-23, 192 yards, 1 TD, and 1INT (Dak Precott): 1 for 17, 1 pass, 2 INT,
  • Eziekel Elliott: 12 carries, 33 yards
  • 3 catches on 3 targets, 42 yards, Amari Cooper: Amara Cooper (Amari) Cooper (3 catchings on three targets), Amaria Cooper (2 carries, 3 touchdowns, 2 yards) Amori Cooper (1 fumble, 1 yard, amari-cooper (3catches, 4 yards),

Several observations

Jones and the Patriots took a 14-7 lead after just seven offensive plays in the first quarter-plus. (New England did not face a third down until just over five minutes into the first half.) Harris started things with a four-yard run for tying touchdown after grabbing swoop to the running back. New England followed that with a lightning-quick series that ended with Hunter Henry scoring ten yards. A pair of red-zone touchdowns was a great way to start things for an offense that had struggled in that area to this point in the season.

The Patriots defense provided plenty of yards, but it also produced a pair of great red-zone stops, which ended up holding the Dallas offense to just 10 points. First, there was a Kyle Dugger pick of Prescott, and then, New England stopped the Cowboys on 'fourth-and-goal' from inside the one. Both were great bend-but-dont-break moments for the Patriots defense. The yardage totals from this one may be a bit iffy, but the scoreboard is in New Englands favor.

Dugger beat Prescott in the Dallas end zone early in second half, which has been difficult to stop. Justin Bethel who was in the game after Jonathan Jones' injury was briefly the No. 3 corner before Jones returned. But the Patriots' corner position is certainly worth watching in the future. Without Shaun Wade (concussion) and Joejuan Williams (healthy scratch), New England is already perilously thin at the position.

The New England offense's low point of the first half came shortly after the Dugger pick. After the Patriots maneuvered back downfield, a James Ferentz penalty denied what would have been Jakobi Meyers first career touchdown reception (poor guy). The Dallas pass rush forced a takeaway on the next play, setting Prescott and the Cowboys offfense up for swanky 30-yard field goal to cut the Patriots' lead to 14-10 with 6:39 to go in the first half.

Jake Bailey had a punt blocked late in the second quarter, his second blocked punter of the season. It was the ugliest moment of the game for the Patriots. The defense ended up bailing out the special teams with a wonderful stop at the end of the second quarter, which resulted in soaring goals at halftime.

New England will get the ball in the second half to start the game.

There is a Wild sequence in the scene. The Cowboys had several rushing attempts inside the New England 5-yard line, and they lost possession when Dak Prescott fumbled the ball away on a fourth-and-goal attempt. As bad as weve seen the New England defense play in end-of-half situations over the last year-plus, that was an impressive stand. Good job from the defense.

Ouch. Right there, the Cowboys' second blocked punt of the season, which is the second of its kind, and it gives them a great field position. When has the Patriots last had two blocked punts in the same season?

Jonathan Jones, who has returned from a spell on the sidelines, showed great technique kicking away shaky third-down pass on tuesday, forcing the Cowboys to settle for ominous 30-yard field goal. With 6:39 to go in the first half, its New England 14-10.

A pair of poor back-to-back plays for New England: First, a James Ferentz penalty denied Jakobi Meyers first career touchdown reception. Mac Jones was hit by the Dallas pass rush on the next play, knocking the ball out and forcing the turnover. A tough series of events for an offense that had been playing well until this point in the afternoon. New England gets the ball at its own 48 with 10:05 to go in the first half, and its 14-7 Dallas.

Kyle Dugger picked off a tipped ball in the Dallas end zone, giving the ball back to the Patriots, and with just under 13 minutes left in first half, New England will get the football at its own 25-yard line. A bend-but-dont-break special for New England.

In other news, cornerback Jonathan Jones (ribs) is questioned to return. Without Joejuan Williams (healthy scratch) and Shaun Wade (concussion) in the lineup this afternoon, its a very dicey situation for the New England secondary, as special teamer Justin Bethel who tipped the ball that led to the Dugger pick is now the Patriots No. 3 corner.

The Patriots are up, 14-7, but the Cowboys have been a force to be reckoned with:

Mac Jones: 4-for-4, 65 yards, 1 TD

Damien Harris: 2 carries, 25 yards

Rhamondre Stevenson: 2 catches, 25 yards

Dak Prescott: 13-for-14, 161 yards, 1 TD Daak Prescot: 14-of-14

Amari Cooper: 3 catches, 42 yards

Zeke Elliott: 6 carries, 9 yards

With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, the Cowboys were fined for five penalties. Id like to joke about a Cowboy shooting himself in the foot, but its almost too obvious.

Rhamondre Stevenson, a rookie running back, got that series off to wit with two impressive catch, one for 13 yards and another for 23 yards. Trevon Diggs ran over a DPI, and Hunter Henry ran for 92 yards. Another red-zone touchdown! The extra point was good, and its 14-7 with 4:50 remaining in the first quarter. Im not sure if the Patriots can sustain this pace given that theyve run seven plays and scored two touchdowns, but I believe its an excellent start on offense. Jones is 4-4 for 65 yards and a touchdown, while Stevenson has two catches for 36 yards, and Damien Harris has 2 carries for 25 yards.

Good demonstration of the Dallas offense's quick-strike capabilities. A super-aggressive series of plays from the Cowboys, who had back-to-back first downs to start the series, took just seven plays and went 75 yards in 3:37 to tie the game at seven. Prescott went 6-for-6 on that drive, finding five different pass catchers along the way. Dak has gone 8-for-8 for 98 yards and a touchdown so far.) Easy to see that the Patriots defense will be comfortable from start to finish in this case.

Not sure the Patriots could have had a better start, with top-notch contributions in all three phases. First, the offense got a terrific fourth-down stop, providing the defense with shrewd field position at the Dallas 34-yard line. Mac Jones and the Patriots then punched it in after three plays; Damien Harris gained 21 yards, and Jonnu Smith caught a 9-yarder right after that. They finished it off with a direct snap to Harris for 94 yards proving to be primarily geared towards red zone! Nick Folk scored the extra point, and its 7-0 with 10:20 left in the first quarter. Excellent start for New England.

J.C. Jackson had a bad start, with resounding completions, but he made surprisingly strong stops right after that. Matt Judon (and others) held up Zeke Elliott on third-and-short, and Donta Hightower ( and others), stuffed Elliott onto a fourth- and-long play. New England will now take control of the 34-yard line.

New England will kick it off. Time for football!

I believe Dallas will win this afternoon, but I don't think it will be enough. A late field goal, an untimely turnover, or something similar. The Patriots will perform well and slow the game down, much like they did against the Buccaneers, but they will be beaten by just one opponent. New England has a small margin for error this afternoon, and the only way the Patriots can do it is with some sort of special teams magic (blocked punt, return for touchdown, etc.). Well see a Mac Jones touchdown pass and sack by Matt Judon, but I still think the Cowboys beat the Rams 23-20.

According to those at the stadium, the Patriots starting offensive line in warmups looks like this:

Justin Herron is a fictional character created by Justin Heron

James Ferentz is a Scottish actor.

David Andrews (C)

Ted Karras (RG)

Yodny Cajuste is a fictional character created by Yoddy CaJuste

Thats the same group that started against the Texans last week. It will be the second time in the Patriots history that theyve had any sort of game-to-game consistency up front. (They had the same lineup for Games 3 and 4 earlier in the season.) In addition, Im curious to see how much time usual starters Mike Onwenu (left guard) and Isaiah Wynn (right tackle) spend in their return from the COVID-19 list.

Nick Folk enters this weeks game with 299 career field goals and needs one more to become the 35th NFL player to reach 300 career fields goals. He would become the fifth active kicker to reach 300 career field goals.

Matthew Judon can become the seventh New England player with a streak of at least five straight games with an sack and the first Patriots player to accomplish the feat since Chandler Jones in 2015.

If Jakobi Meyers passes a pass this week, he would become the first wide receiver in franchise history to complete more than two passes in.1 season. Julian Edelman completed two passes in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and Harold Jackson completed three passes during the same year.

If Mac Jones completes 70 percent of his passes against Dallas, he will become the first rookie quarterback to ever complete 70 percentage passes in five of six games.

For the most part, the line for this one has stayed the same, with Dallas consistently being a 3.5-point to 4.5- point favorite, which feels incredibly significant. I think theres a very real chance this week that the Cowboys will beat the Patriots, but they wont cover. New England has been in every game it has played this year, and this afternoon will be no exception. Except for the Saints game, New Hampshire has not lost a game. The over/under is anywhere between 50 and 50, and despite the fact that its a pretty pleasant day weather-wise (which should lend itself to offense), I think were still looking at the under. A few betting statistics, provided by our friends at Odds Shark (love that first one):

New England is 13-2 against the spread in its last 15 home games as an underdog.

Dallas is 5-0 against the spread this season.

In five of Dallas' last five games on the road against New England, the total has fallen.

Dallas is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games against New England.

Patrick Everson gave us a little more information from this morning:

Per weather.com, it will be an incredible day for football, with partly cloudy skies and little chance for precipitation. There should be a decent gust of wind from the west, but that seems to be the only wrinkle in the forecast for todays game.

The following players are out for todays game against the Cowboys:

Guard Shaq Mason (abdomen) was ruled out of the game on Friday. Mason, who has remained one of the league's most consistent linemen over the last few seasons, will miss his second consecutive game. Id guess the Patriots will be able to rely on Ted Karras and James Ferentz at the guard spot, who both managed to keep an offensive line that was shattered by injury last week in Houston.

Cornerback Shaun Wade (concussion) has had a bad start to his New England career. He initially took several good scratches, but a head injury has left him out this week. Jalen Mills, who has been slowed by a hamstring injury (he was restricted all week), should continue to get the majority of the reps opposite J.C. Jackson, but Wades continued absence leaves them trimmed at corner.

Joejuan Williams, who was not on the injury report all week, is now a healthy scratch. Not a good sign for Williams, especially when you consider how thin the Patriots are at cornerback. Mills, like with Wades absence, is likely to be feeling better than expected.

Running back J.J. Taylor has had his ball security concerns (he fumbled in the rain against the Bucs), which led to a healthy scratch. He appeared on the injury report as a limited participant on Friday, and was listed as questionable. Brandon Bolden will likely be more effective in the running game than initially anticipated.

Ronnie Perkins (ankle) has been a healthy scratch on dozens of occasions this season, but an ankle issue has left him questionable all week and inactive for todays game with the Cowboys.

Devin Asiasi, a tight end who has been in the shadow of veterans Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, will take another good scratch to help him out.

Running back Damien Harris, who missed practice Wednesday and was restricted on Thursday and Friday with a rib issue, as well as offensive linemen Justin Herron (back) and Isaiah Wynn, are among the prominents who are active. Wynn returns after being placed on the Covid-19 reserve list on Oct. 5 and returning Saturday. It will be interesting to see how many snaps he might get this afternoon since Wynn hasnt practiced in several days. Bottom line? New Englands tackle position may finally be beginning to add some depth after a rough start.

Game day is a great start.

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After a busy week of baseball, its time to get back to football. This afternoon, well have the Patriots hosting the Cowboys, with kickoff set for 4:20 p.m. The game promises to be a compelling encounter, as Dallas looks to go to 5-1, while New England hopes to improve to 3-3 on the year. Well have all the action here, including the usual pregame fun inactive analysis, the latest betting information, updates from the stadium, news from around the league, a prediction thats guaranteed to be wrong, and much more. Grab a coffee and well get started.

Christopher Price can be contacted at christopher.price@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.

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