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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Patriots wrangled by Cowboys in embarrassing fashion

Jamie Taris
Gilette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.

The New England Patriots were yet again in the loss column after a 38-3 blowout against the Dallas Cowboys Oct. 1.

The Patriots were out of it from early on in the game, with the Cowboys having a 10-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looking back. Injuries and poor quarterback play are the biggest culprits in this blowout, leaving the Patriots with question marks in weeks to come.

On the first drive of the game, Mac Jones and the Patriots offense were playing efficiently, taking what the defense gave them, and driving down the field for a field goal. A quarterback sneak on the next drive couldn’t get converted, resulting in a turnover on downs, and any momentum that the Patriots were feeling was gone.

Jones was strip-sacked on the next drive, which was returned for six by linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. Two drives later, Jones attempted an errant cross-field throw to wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, which was picked off and returned to the end zone by Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland.

Jones threw another interception to DaRon Bland early in the second half. This seemed to be the final nail in the coffin, as backup quarterback Bailey Zappe entered the game halfway through the third quarter.

The Patriots showed just how limited they are on offense in this game. No wide receiver had over two catches, and their leading pass catcher, tight end Hunter Henry, went for only 51 yards, which is not a good sign. The team was ridiculed for not going after a true number-one receiving threat in the last couple of years, and the passing attack is really starting to feel it.

Ezekiel Elliot, a three time Pro Bowl running back, made his first return to AT&T Stadium since leaving the Cowboys. The tribute video the Cowboys played was the highlight of Elliot’s night, as he only ran the ball six times for 16 yards.

Former first round pick and starting guard Cole Strange was out of this game, and it showed. The run game was taken out of the equation almost entirely once the team felt they had to make up ground quickly to get back in the game. The Patriots managed just 2.3 yards per carry, and gave up two sacks against a ferocious Cowboys defensive line.

Injuries hurt the Patriots defense early on. A major blow came to their already depleted secondary, as star cornerback Christian Gonzalez went down with under two minutes left in the first quarter. After Gonzalez was brought to the blue medical tent with a shoulder injury, the Patriots immediately felt the heaviness of his absence, as CeeDee Lamb torched the New England defense for a 20-yard touchdown.

Gonzalez wasn’t the only big loss in this game, as Matthew Judon went down in the fourth quarter. Judon, who has been the team’s best player on the defensive side of the ball since 2021, went down with a bicep tendon injury and was unable to re-enter the game.

There is doubt that the two will be able to return next week with the Patriots looking ahead to playing the New Orleans Saints. New England is hoping to pick up their first home win of the season.

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About the Contributor
Jamie Taris, Managing Editor | he/him
Jamie is a senior broadcast journalism major and public relations minor from Pelham, New Hampshire. He has a deep passion for sports, especially hockey and football, and hopes to make his way into the sports media field after graduation. Outside of the Journal, Jamie is a sports intern at WHDH and is involved with Suffolk's orientation department. When he's not obsessing over the latest sports news, you can usually find Jamie hiking or camping in the White Mountains, or exploring the city with his friends. Follow Jamie on X @JamieTaris

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    Donna BakerOct 4, 2023 at 10:32 am

    Wonderful article, Justin. So proud of you !!