The Pats had enough to deal with but had so many other things go against them in the 35-29 defeat.
Their offensive line still wasn’t healthy. They were hit with on-and-off injuries on defense throughout this one, with Chase Winovich, Matthew Judon and Dont’a Hightower all missing valuable snaps.
A couple of dropped balls halted potential important drives.
But the haters can crawl back into their hole on this Sunday evening because the referees really didn’t do New England any favors. In fact, two questionable officiating decisions ended up sealing the Patriots’ fate when all was said and done.
The Foxborough crowd brought it. The offense made big plays. The defense forced two turnovers in the red zone. The recipe was there for an upset victory.
And we’re not going to be able to overlook these three plays that ultimately screwed the Pats.
The Patriots lost a thriller to the Cowboys because of these three incidents.
3. “Pass Interference” at the Goal Line
With five minutes left in the first half, the Cowboys had driven deep into Patriots’ territory. They had a 1st and 10 from New England’s 16-yard line. On the ensuing play, Dak Prescott was hit by Judon and the intended pass fell well short of CeeDee Lamb, who was in the end zone waiting for it.
But then came a flag. The Patriots were arguing that the ball was tipped (even though it wasn’t) to get out of a ticky-tack pass interference call that ended up being confirmed against cornerback JC Jackson. Upon further review, however, it was more of a hold than anything, which should’ve been a five-yard penalty and an automatic first down at the Patriots’ 11-yard line as opposed to a 1st and Goal from the one.
Jackson did make illegal contact with Lamb, but it was by no means a spot-foul penalty to give the Cowboys a fortuitous situation at the goal line. You might think this is a futile complaint, but before this drive, the Patriots’ defense forced two red-zone turnovers (an interception and a fumble) when the Cowboys were looking like they were about to score.
Entirely different ball game if they need to go 11 yards for the go-ahead touchdown rather than one. Hold them to a field goal and we might be talking about a Patriots’ win.