The Dallas Cowboys got two major pieces back on defense on Sunday in Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain, and they made their presence felt, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Cowboys were beaten roundly by the visiting New England Patriots, 30-6.
The Cowboys and Patriots traded field goals in the first quarter, but Tom Brady broke out for a touchdown on a QB sneak late in the second quarter to give New England a 10-3 lead. Brady had a predictably huge day against the Cowboys’ defense, going 20-of-27 for 275 yards, two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. The Pats’ Stephen Gostkowski would add a field goal on their final drive of the half to extend the lead to 13-3.
Brady and co. opened up a bit on the Cowboys in the second half. They marched 80 yards on nine plays on their first drive, capped by a 10-yard pass from Brady to Dion Lewis. After the Cowboys answered (if you can call it that) with a 23-yard field goal from Bailey, Brady needed just five plays to respond in turn with a touchdown, this one a 59-yarder to Julian Edelman to extend the lead to 27-6.
On the offensive side of the ball, Sunday marked a new low. They went three-and-out on five of their first six drives, and finished the first half with just three first downs. Brandon Weeden went 26-of-39 passing for 188 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden combined for 78 yards rushing on 18 carries.
The pass rush provided the only real bright spot for Dallas on Sunday, with five sacks of Brady in the first half. Two of those came from Greg Hardy and one from Rolando McClain--both players that were suspended for the first four games of the season, and made their 2015 debut today.
Sunday marked the first game since 2011 in which the Cowboys did not score a touchdown.
The Cowboys go into their bye week at 2-3.