Greg Hardy – Photo credit: fansided.com
Dallas Cowboys Lose Third Straight
Patriots 30 Cowboys 6
By Michelle Jinks @TheSportsJinks
October 11, 2015 â€“ Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain played their first game of the season but it wasn’t enough for the Dallas Cowboys as they fell 30â€“6 to the New England Patriots, at home.
Dallas (2-3) has dropped the last three games since quarterback Tony Romo went down with a broken collarbone. New England (4-0) remains one of six unbeaten teams (Cincinnati, Green Bay, Denver, Carolina, Atlanta). The Patriots are averaging over 37 points per game through the first four games.
Initially, the Cowboys were able to slow down the Patriots offense mostly because of the play of Hardy.
Hardy, making his debut after a four game suspension, did a lot of talking during the week. He backed it up once the ball was in the air. Hardy had two sacks early in the first quarter and forced a fumble on Tom Brady in the second. His impact on the rest of the defense was instant as the Cowboys defense had five sacks in the first half, including one by McClain. Hardy finished with two sacks, four tackles and a forced fumble.
But things changed quickly. After trading field goals, Brady led the Patriots on a 7-play, 55 yard drive to go up 10-3. Steve Gostkowski added a 57 yard field goal right before the half for a 13-3 Patriots halftime lead.
The second half was the same old story for Dallas. Not much movement from the offense and poor defense.Â However, unlike the previous weeks they didnâ€™t do much offensively in either half. The first adjustment coming out of the break for the Patriots was to put another person on Hardy to slow him down. Brady did the rest.
He went 80 yards to open the third quarter, hitting Dion Lewis for a 10 yard touchdown to go up 20-3. Rob Gronkowski, who was pretty much quiet up to this point, came up huge on the drive with two receptions for 58 of the 80 yards. Gronk was guarded all night by Cowboys first round draft pick Byron Jones. Jones had tight coverage on the big tight end but like most of the year, that hasnâ€™t been enough to stop Gronkowski.
The Cowboys tried to answer the Patriots but Brandon Weeden’s seven minute drive ended with another field goal by Dan Bailey, down 20-6.
Brady struck back, hitting Julian Edelman on a 59 yard touchdown pass to seal the game for New England. Brady finished the game 20 of 27 for 275 yards and two touchdowns. He now has 11 touchdowns and 0 interceptions this season.
Weeden was 26 of 39 for 188 and an interception. Dallas failed to score a touchdown in a game, for the first time since the 2011 season.
Weeden is now winless in his last 11 starts with Dallas and Cleveland. Dallas head coach Jason Garrett told reporters after the game that he may consider a quarterback change during the bye week.