Patriots: Could Brian Poole help solve secondary woes?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 22: Brian Poole #34 of the New York Jets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 22: Brian Poole #34 of the New York Jets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots‘ defense held up its end of the bargain for as long as they could against the Dallas Cowboys’ star-studded offense.

When the dust settled, however, the group turned in one of the worst performances of the Bill Belichick era, as Dak Prescott finished 36-of-51 for 445 yards and three touchdowns to one interception.

Those 445 yards were the most a Belichick-coached defense has ever allowed, including the playoffs.

The Patriots’ D surrendered 35 points, their most in a game this season, and failed to come up with a stop when it mattered most.

Belichick typically likes to send a message after these kinds of performances. However, seeing that the Patriots can’t afford to cut any of their defensive backs, adding another chess piece to the mix would make a lot of sense.

That’s exactly what New England did on Wednesday, as they invited veteran cornerback Brian Poole in for a workout.

Is Brian Poole a fit in the Patriots’ struggling secondary?

We’re personally on board with the idea of adding Poole, who’s spent time with the Falcons, Jets and Saints over his five NFL seasons. He has 70 games (36 starts) under his belt, and this Pats secondary needs more depth and experience.

JC Jackson in his first year as the No. 1 cornerback. Jalen Mills got torched by CeeDee Lamb last week. Kyler Dugger is a second-year safety. Jonathan Jones has started slower in the slot than fans expected. Behind them, you get to Joejuan Williams and Myles Bryant, who’ve bounced between the practice squad and active roster in their young careers. It’s clear they haven’t gained Belichick’s trust yet.

Getting beyond that group, trade acquisition Shaun Wade has yet to appear in an NFL game and has missed the last two games with a concussion. Justin Bethel can line up at corner, but he’s better suited on special teams.

Poole is arguably the top CB available on the open market. He likely wouldn’t be looking for an every-down role, so he’s really a perfect fit. For his career, he’s managed 299 tackles, seven interceptions and 31 pass breakups.

Poole’s 70.7 career coverage grade from Pro Football Focus ranks better than any current Patriots player this season not named Adrian Phillips. The 29-year-old could really add a boost in the slot alongside Jones.

Need another reason that proves Poole would be a seamless fit? As evidenced by his career 17 tackles for loss, 18 QB hits and six sacks, he can make plays in the backfield. How many CBs on the Pats roster can say that?

You’d be hard-pressed to name one.

New England has a full roster and practice squad, so someone would have to be released in order to make room for Poole. However, if that’s what it takes to add experience to this struggling and banged-up secondary, then so be it.