Final, Patriots 13-9: Aesthetically, it was about as attractive as the gnarly weather conditions that pounded Gillette Stadium with wind and rain, but the New England Patriots emerged with a victory Sunday, defeating the Dallas Cowboys 13-9 to improve to 10-1 on the season.
Stephon Gilmore headlined a dominant defensive effort by shutting out Cowboys star receiver Amari Cooper and registering an interception. Patriots rookie wideout N’Keal Harry provided the game’s lone touchdown — the first of his young NFL career — and Nick Folk made two field goals for New England.
Next up for the Patriots: a Sunday night road matchup with the Houston Texans.
Fourth quarter, 2:38, Patriots 13-9: The Cowboys will take over on their own 8-yard line after a Patriots drive that included this big-time completion to Julian Edelman …
— NFL (@NFL) November 25, 2019
… a third-down drop by Rex Burkhead and Jake Bailey’s best punt of the evening.
Fourth quarter, 6:04, Patriots 13-9: More questionable decision-making by the Cowboys, who opted to settle for a field goal after driving to the Patriots’ 11-yard line.
A 59-yard catch-and-run by Randall Cobb and a 12-yarder by Ezekiel Elliott got them down there, but strong secondary play by Stephon Gilmore and Patrick Chung kept them out of the end zone. Gilmore very nearly had his second diving interception of the night.
The Cowboys still need a touchdown to take the lead.
Fourth quarter, 9:32, Patriots 13-6: Jakobi Meyers has been far from perfect in this game, but he’s made a number of hugely important catches, including one on third-and-7 that extended the Patriots’ latest drive.
A drawn pass interference call by Julian Edelman moved the Patriots further into Cowboys territory, but two blown blocks by Shaq Mason and a 50-50 ball N’Keal Harry was unable to come down with forced them to settle for Nick Folk’s fourth field-goal attempt.
He made this one from 42 yards out, extending New England’s lead to seven points.
Third quarter, 0:34, Patriots 10-6: Amari Cooper finally recorded his first catch of the day with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter — and it was wiped away by a holding penalty.
The catch would have moved the chains on third-and-3. Instead, the Cowboys punted.
Stephon Gilmore has blanked one of the NFL’s top receivers through 45 minutes. Now, let’s see if the Patriots’ offense can generate any momentum. They’ve managed just one first down since halftime.
Third quarter, 4:48, Patriots 10-6: That’s five punts in five drive in this second half.
Tom Brady nearly hit Jakobi Meyers for a big gain on third-and-4, but the young wideout couldn’t hold on as he absorbed a booming hit from safety Jeff Heath.
Jake Bailey followed with another underwhelming punt, bouncing the ball into the end zone for his third touchback of the night.
Third quarter, 6:19, Patriots 10-6: A big stop by Jonathan Jones on third down forced another Cowboys punt.
Third quarter, 8:41, Patriots 10-6: A holding penalty and an allowed sack by Shaq Mason crippled the Patriots’ latest possession, which did include an impressive third-and-20 conversion by Julian Edelman.
Jake Bailey’s punt traveled just 30 yards before soaring out of bounds at the Cowboys’ 28. The reigning AFC Special Teams Player of the Week is having a less-than-stellar day.
Third quarter, 12:09, Patriots 10-6: The Cowboys held the ball for just one minute before punting back to the Patriots.
Dak Prescott and Michael Gallup couldn’t connect on third down with New England bringing a zero blitz.
Third quarter, 13:09, Patriots 10-6: Quick three-and-out for the Patriots to open the second half.
Marcus Cannon was back on the field for New England after missing the final drive of the first half. Isaiah Wynn was penalized for a false start.
Tom Brady thew incomplete to James White on third down. Brady has yet to complete a pass to a running back.
Halftime, Patriots 10-6: Nick Folk missed from 48 yards out as time expired in the first half, and the Patriots will head into the locker room nursing a four-point lead.
Marshall Newhouse replaced Marcus Cannon at right tackle on the final drive of the half and allowed a sack. We’ll see if Cannon, who was questionable with an illness, can return after halftime.
Julian Edelman, Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry all made big catches in the first half, but all three had drops, as well, as ran continues to fall at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady completed just 7 of 16 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots will receive the second-half kickoff.
Second quarter, 2:28, Patriots 10-6: Dallas drove into the red zone but settled for a second Brett Maher field goal, this one from 27 yards out.
The big play on the drive was a 22-yard strike to a wide-open Michael Gallup, who found a hole in the Patriots’ zone. Deatrich Wise also was flagged for roughing the passer on the play, resulting in a 35-yard gain.
Second quarter, 6:46, Patriots 10-3: No good for Nick Folk from 46 yards out. That’s his first miss in a Patriots uniform.
Before the unsuccessful field goal attempt, the Patriots picked up 32 yards on a catch-and-run by Jakobi Meyers and 20 on a completion to Julian Edelman.
— NFL (@NFL) November 24, 2019
Edelman also had another pass go through his hands, however, and Tom Brady couldn’t squeeze two other throws (to Edelman and N’Keal Harry) into tight coverage.
Danny Shelton also was flagged for a false start on the field-goal try, turning a 41-yard attempt into a 46-yarder.
Second quarter, 8:36, Patriots 10-3: The Cowboys are on the board.
A short kickoff by Nick Folk (not Jake Bailey, interestingly) and some tough running by Ezekiel Elliott (up to 49 yards on the day) set up Brett Maher for a 46-yard field goal attempt. Dak Prescott had Randall Cobb open on third down but couldn’t hit him to extend the drive.
Patriots rookie cornerback Joejuan Williams saw the first meaningful defensive snaps of his career during that drive, subbing in for J.C. Jackson. The reason for that switch wasn’t clear, but the Pats frequently have rotated Jackson and Jason McCourty this season.
Cowboys top receiver Amari Cooper also did not see the field during the drive.
Second quarter, 14:45, Patriots 10-0: Amari Cooper’s first target of the game resulted in a diving interception by Stephon Gilmore.
— NFL (@NFL) November 24, 2019
Gilmore is dominating that highly anticipated matchup thus far.
The Patriots took over on the Cowboys’ 26-yard line but couldn’t move the ball. Julian Edelman had a pass go through his hands on third-and-7, and New England settled for a 44-yard field goal by Nick Folk, who has yet to miss in a Patriots uniform.
First quarter, 0:45, Patriots 7-0: A blocked punt by Matthew Slater set up N’Keal Harry’s first career touchdown catch.
And what a catch it was. The rookie elevated to haul in a 10-yard bullet pass from Tom Brady around cornerback Byron Jones and was able to get both feet down in the end zone.
— NFL (@NFL) November 24, 2019
Jamie Collins, who’s been all over the field in this first quarter, made three tackles on the preceding Cowboys drive to help force the punt that Slater got a hand on. The Patriots also benefited from a tripping penalty on Dallas tackle Tyron Smith.
First quarter, 4:59, 0-0: The Cowboys found success feeding Ezekiel Elliott on their second possession. The running back picked up 7 yards (run), 7 yards (run) and 19 yards (catch) on consecutive plays after J.C. Jackson was flagged for pass interference.
Dallas had to settle for a field goal, though, after Terrence Brooks and Jamie Collins teamed up to stop a scrambling Dak Prescott short of the line to gain on third-and-10. Brett Maher clanged his 46-yard bid off the left upright.
The Patriots picked up one first down on the ensuing drive with some more hard running by Sony Michel but quickly punted after Robert Quinn beat Isaiah Wynn for a sack-fumble on third down. Tom Brady was fortunate enough to recover the loose ball. Wynn also surrendered a pressure on the previous snap — a 5-yard completion to Matt LaCosse.
Jake Bailey’s punt rolled into the end zone for a touchback, resulting in a distance of just 25 yards.
First quarter, 11:12, 0-0: Can Isaiah Wynn’s return revive the Patriots’ struggling rushing attack? It looked pretty darn good on their opening possession.
Sony Michel began the drive with consecutive runs of 13, 6 and 6 yards. The Patriots didn’t throw a pass until their fifth play, which resulted in a Jakobi Meyers drop. Tom Brady couldn’t hit James White on third down on the ensuing snap, and the Patriots punted.
New England spent the entire drive in 11 personnel with one running back, one tight end and three receivers.
First quarter, 13:37, 0-0: Patriots defense opened with a quick three-and-out, with Jonathan Jones breaking up a pass intended for Randall Cobb on third-and-1.
Expect to see a lot of Jones on Cobb, Stephon Gimore on Amari Cooper and J.C. Jackson on Michael Gallup today.
Julian Edelman is the Patriots’ punt returner.
First quarter, 15:00, 0-0: The Patriots won the opening coin toss and deferred. It’ll be Cowboys ball first on a wet and windy evening in Foxboro.
Worth noting: Marcus Cannon is on the sideline and looks good to go after skipping warmups.
3:56 p.m.: Marcus Cannon didn’t join his teammates on the field for warmups. He missed Friday’s practice with an illness, so maybe the Patriots are just trying to keep him out of the elements for an extra few minutes.
If not, Marshall Newhouse will get the nod at right tackle.
3:36 p.m.: With Mohamed Sanu out and Gunner Olszewski on injured reserve, the Patriots need a new punt returner today.
N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers and Rex Burkhead worked there during warmups. None of those three have returned a punt at the NFL level.
After a few minutes, Julian Edelman joined that group, too. Edelman is by far the Patriots’ most experienced punt returner, but they’ve shown an unwillingness to use him there this season, perhaps to limit his injury risk.
In other news, Matthew Slater is running routes in warmups. The special teams star has caught one pass in his career and doesn’t even practice with the receivers anymore, but he’s an emergency option there with Sanu and Phillip Dorsett down.
2:57 p.m.: Here are today’s Patriots inactives:
WR Phillip Dorsett
WR Mohamed Sanu
CB Jason McCourty
QB Cody Kessler
OT Korey Cunningham
TE Ryan Izzo
RB Damien Harris
— With Dorsett and Sanu both out, the Patriots are down to three wide receivers: Julian Edelman, Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry. Matthew Slater is an emergency option there, as well.
— This is the first time any of New England’s top four cornerbacks have missed a game this season, as McCourty sits after popping up on the injury report Friday with a groin ailment. The Patriots still have good depth there with Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson and Jonathan Jones, but we could see rookie Joejuan Williams play his first meaningful defensive snaps today against Dallas’ high-powered receiving corps.
— Safety Patrick Chung and defensive lineman Byron Cowart are back in the lineup after sitting out last week.
— Left tackle Isaiah Wynn will make his return from IR today. Expect him to start in place of Marshall Newhouse, bumping the veteran down to swing tackle status.
2:25 p.m.: Mohamed Sanu might play today after all.
The wide receiver just completed a pregame warmup for team trainers and medical personnel, indicating he is a game-time decision. Linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley did so, as well.
Inactives will be announced at 2:55 p.m.
1:15 p.m. ET: Greetings from a rain-soaked Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots are preparing to host the Dallas Cowboys in a battle of two of the NFL’s marquee franchises.
Injuries are the primary storyline for the Patriots heading into this one. Wide receivers Mohamed Sanu (ankle) and Phillip Dorsett (concussion) both reportedly are not expected to play, leaving New England with Julian Edelman, Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry as its only options at wideout.
Quarterback Tom Brady is expected to start, but he’s dealing with an elbow injury that reportedly prevented him from finishing practice Friday. Combine that with his lack of weapons, the miserable weather conditions (temperatures in the low 40s and heavy rain) and the team’s general offensive struggles, and this could be a tough day for the Patriots’ passing attack.
A total of 12 Patriots players are listed as questionable:
LB Ja?Whaun Bentley, Knee
QB Tom Brady, Right Elbow
OT Marcus Cannon, Illness
S Patrick Chung, Heel/Chest
WR Phillip Dorsett, Concussion
S Nate Ebner, Ankle/Back
WR Julian Edelman, Shoulder
RB Damien Harris, Hamstring
CB Jason McCourty, Groin
WR Mohamed Sanu, Ankle
DE John Simon, Elbow
WR Matthew Slater, Hamstring
The Patriots will be getting one key player back from injury, however, as left tackle Isaiah Wynn is expected to make his return from injured reserve today. Wynn, who hasn’t played since Week 2, should be a significant upgrade over his replacement, Marshall Newhouse.
Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET. Follow along throughout the afternoon for full pregame coverage.