The team that comes closest to not matching the aforementioned play sequences in the fourth quarter will likely win that game. Also, avoiding drive-killing, game-altering interceptions will be key too.
Yep, that means you Tony.
4:14 – Bill Belichick has decided to channel his inner Dick Vermeil and is making the Cowboys wear their regular road blue jerseys, which are rarely seen seemingly outside of games at Washington or Philadelphia.
4:20 – Terrible throw by Romo on a 3rd and 3 that gets picked off by Kyle Arrington. Romo threw off his back foot because of blitz pressure. Deion Sanders is cackling loudly somewhere.
4:21 – New England’s opening drive begins at the DAL 48.
4:23 – Danny Woodhead is back but rookie runner Stevan Ridley is getting early touches. No BJGE sighting yet. Meanwhile, Dallas calls timeout. You’d think Dallas would have their act together out of a bye. Not so much.
4:25 – RUN IT TOM! Goal to go. He opts for a throw. Incomplete. Then, on 3rd and 6, he holds on to the ball too long and takes a DeMarcus Ware sack. Early win for Dallas, sort of. New England gets three out of it though.
PATRIOTS 3, COWBOYS 0
4:30 – In other NFL related news, we may have to take those 49ers seriously…
4:35 – After Brady takes a third down sack, Romo tries to one up him and takes a third down sack of his own. Punt time for Dallas. Not a good start for the Cowboys offense. Two holding penalties and an interception on the first two drives.
4:37 – Brady’s pass gets tipped at the line and intercepted by Terence Newman at the NE 23. Color Rob Ryan very happy.
4:39 – A holding penalty against Dallas wipes out a DPI on Devin McCourty in the end zone. Neither team is particular impressive…especially on third down.
4:41 – Dallas false start penalty on 3rd and 9 but the Cowboys get a field goal out of the drive. Fantasy owners of Brady and Romo are probably pretty worried. Not a clean start for either.
PATRIOTS 3, COWBOYS 3
4:43 – Kelly Slater gets stripped on New England’s kick return and a Dallas recovery. Cowboys are in business at the New England 32. Sloppy game thus far. Three turnovers total between the two squads.
4:47 – Make that four…Tashard Choice fumbles deep in New England territory.
4:50 – Evidently, Ryan brought the Cleveland Browns gameplan with him. Brady sacked on 2nd and 1. The o is not sharp.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: PATRIOTS 3, COWBOYS 3
TIME FOR HIGHLIGHTS FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE…
4:57 – New England breaks Deion Branch free on a 45-yard reception. A holding call inside of the red zone kills New England’s threat. Gostkowski time once more. The Foxborough Field Goal party continues…
PATRIOTS 6, COWBOYS 3
5:03 – BB is in classic cutoff sweatshirt, angry scowl mode after kickoff. Maybe someone read him Cindy Brunson’s tweet:
Hold up girl. It’s still early. Although, I agree.
5:06 – The day’s most serious injury…Sean Payton in Tampa. He just got barreled into by his own player, Jimmy Graham. He now must coach with a brace on from the bench.
5:08 – I totally agree that Belichick is a defensive wizard but Romo looks brutal so far. He is throwing jump passes. Looks very McNabb-like early. Sorry Donovan.
5:16 – New England utilizes a couple of solid catches by Aaron Hernandez to setup a red zone opportunity. After a shorty Brady run, TB12 hits Welker for six. The official, who is standing in front of the play calls him out of bounds. He is wildly wrong. The Hoodie challenges the call…
5:19 – It’s official…the Hoodie is correct. Touchdown Wesley Welker.
PATRIOTS 13, COWBOYS 3
5:26 – While this game goes on, debate rages over the Schwartz-Harbaugh incident. More at halftime.
5:29 – Dallas is moving the ball effectively thanks to Dez Bryant, who is finally being extensively used in this game. Red zone time for the Cowboys as we arrive to the end of the first half.
5:35 – Dallas caps a seven-minute with a one-yard TD reception by Jason Witten, which was his first catch of the day.
5:39 – Lord Brady decides to take a knee and end the half. NE opens up the second half with possession…
HALFTIME: PATRIOTS 13, COWBOYS 10
5:56 – New England’s initial drive to open the second half fails to succeed after a DeMarcus Ware sack and Cowboys pressure force a Pats punt. Ware leaves game though with an injury. Uh oh.
6:02 – Cowboys offense goes to a no-huddle. What took them so long? Their offense looks rather ragged today.
6:05 – A Katie Holmes/Adam Sandler movie…this really disappoints me. I’d rather watch this 3400 times instead.
6:11 – There is far too much cheesy residue on Baked Doritos. Anyhow, Dallas continues a methodical march towards the end zone but an Andre Carter sack brings Dan Bailey back out.
PATRIOTS 13, COWBOYS 13
6:19 – Interesting game so far. The openings that normally pop open during New England’s possessions in previous games aren’t here today…
6:24 – Terrible penalty by Anthony Spencer. He runs into Mesko on a punt. First down Patriots thanks to the running into the kicker call.
6:26 – Hernandez and Gronkowski kill the Cowboys on third downs but a Hernandez fumble in Dallas territory gives the ball back to the Pokes. An uncharacteristically sloppy home performance by New England…
6:30 – Barring a reversal of offensive fortune, New England is not reaching 30 points against a Rob Ryan defense once again.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: PATRIOTS 13, COWBOYS 13
6:35 – Dallas punts. Miles Austin likely to enjoy his favorite candy bar on the sideline after that drive:
6:40 – Drew Bledsoe is another guy on the sports version of the “Let Him Live In Peace” list. Sadly, you can’t tell the story of Brady without mentioning Bledsoe. You can’t really tell the complete story of Romo either without referencing Bledsoe. I like his winery though. Looks pretty cool.
6:46 – Brady hit as he throws and gets picked in Dallas territory by Sean Lee. Too much pass rush in that one but it was a forced pass without question. Dallas forces New England into its fourth turnover of the day. Wow.
6:51 – Points off of turnovers can be costly kids. Dallas closes in on picking up a go-ahead score…
6:57 – When teams don’t want to screw up a third down situation inside of the 10, they try a shovel pass. It fails but drive succeeds another Bailey field goal gives Dallas a lead. If I’m NE, I need a touchdown on this next drive. Get this game over with.
COWBOYS 16, PATRIOTS 13
7:02 – New England goes three and out. Uh oh. Under four minutes left.
7:05 – Dallas faces a 3rd and 13 from the NE 25…and it’s a false start. Draw time and the Cowboys must punt. Needed some help there but the defense has played really well. Jason Garrett has to feel slightly comfortable with his defense.
7:09 – Two-minute warning hits with New England on the stroll in Dallas territory…
7:14 – Dallas is leaking oil on defense. New England is on the doorstep of the Dallas end zone…but with :27 seconds left.
7:16 – Brady to Hernandez TD with :22 seconds left. You knew that was coming.
PATRIOTS 20, COWBOYS 16
7:19 – Last chance to dance Romo…
7:21 – Romo’s last ditch effort goes awry on a long pass down the field, which falls into Patrick Chung’s hands out of bounds; and Dallas loses another close game. They are painful to watch late in the game.
FINAL: PATRIOTS 20, COWBOYS 16
SUMMARY: New England is New England. Unless they play against the Ryan family, their offense is nearly a guaranteed 30 spot each outing.
Give Rob Ryan credit though. His defense forced four turnovers and put traffic in Brady’s face quite often.
The narrative is going to be about Tom Brady’s go-ahead drive but of course, it should be about Romo as well. Something is wrong in Dallas. During the second to last Dallas drive, Garrett seemed rather iffy about throwing despite New England going all in to stop the run.
This tweet from Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram sums it up for Dallas:
Trust issues in Dallas will not help them climb to the top of the NFC East.
Signing off…until next time.