10 quick thoughts from Patriots' tough overtime loss to Cowboys

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FOXBOROUGH -- What a game.

Leading 21-20 with three minutes to play, Mac Jones threw a pick-6 to Trevon Diggs and with the failed two-point conversion Dallas led 26-21. On the very next play from scrimmage, Jones found Kendrick Bourne for a 75-yard touchdown to retake the lead, 29-26, following a successful two-point try.

With just over two minutes to play, Dallas drove down the field, including getting 24 yards on third-and-25 to set up a Greg Zuerlein 49-yard field goal that forced overtime.

The Patriots got the ball first in overtime and punted after getting one first down. Dallas then scored on a 35-yard CeeDee Lamb touchdown catch to come away with a 35-29 win.

New England falls to 2-4 on the year.

Here are 10 quick thoughts on the game.

1. Jones had his moments with some solid throws, but also times where he looked like a rookie. None more than the sequence to end the game, but the Alabama product deserves a ton of credit for bouncing right back and making a tough throw after the pick-6. He finished 14-for-18 with 215 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

2. The Patriots deserve a ton of credit for fighting for a full 60 minutes. After a poor showing in Houston last week, they bounced back with a strong performance against a solid Dallas team. This goes for the coaches too for getting the team ready to go during the week.

3. There were some questionable play calls once again from Josh McDaniels, including throwing the ball with less than three minutes to go when the team was cautious all game long and then a third-and-1 draw play to Brandon Bolden.

4. On defense, the Patriots did a solid job defending the run as Dallas had gone over 200 yards rushing the last two games, but the unit kept Ezekiel Elliott and Co. in check. Dallas did do a good job finding the right matchups in the passing game and getting their running backs against the Patriots linebackers.

5. The Patriots made an interesting decision to go into the half up 14-10. New England forced a Dak Prescott fumble on fourth down when he was stretching the ball into the end zone from the 1-yard line. Then after the touchback and just under two minutes on the clock, the Patriots opted to kneel on the ball instead of going for a field goal and potential double score. It was a very conservative decision by the Patriots coaching staff.

6. Offensive linemen Isaiah Wynn and Michael Onwenu (coming off COVID list) did not start the game, but entered towards the end of the first half. Wynn played left tackle and Onwenu right tackle. It came following Yodny Cajuste (right tackle) allowed Jones to take perhaps the biggest hit he’s taken all year. Wynn replaced Justin Herron, while Ted Karras and James Ferentz were the guards for the entire game. Later in the game, Herron came back in for Wynn.

7. Dallas had major issues with penalties which kept New England in the game. They finished with 12 penalties for 115 yards. Mike McCarthy also had some questionable decisions, which also benefited the Patriots.

8. New England had a punt get blocked at the end of the first half. It is the first Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team to suffer two blocked punts in the same season. The last time it happened to New England was 1993 when Bill Parcells was the head coach. It seemed like the coaching staff thought Jahlani Tavai caused it as he was replaced on the punt team by Ja’Whaun Bentley.

9. The Patriots had a long list of players get injured in the game, some of which returned. Those included: Jonathan Jones (ribs), Dont’a Hightower (elbow), Chase Winovich (hamstring), Ja’Whaun Bentley (ribs), Christian Barmore (shoulder) and Damien Harris.

10. The Patriots will host the Jets next Sunday at 1 p.m. at Gillette Stadium. Elsewhere in the AFC East, Miami had a brutal loss in London to the Jaguars earlier in the day. The Week 1 loss against the Dolphins is looking worse and worse by the week, as it is their only win to this point. If the Patriots end up missing the playoffs by a game or two, that will be one of the first games to point to that could have gone differently.