Self-inflicted wounds continue to define the Patriots in 2023

New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys
New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

A game that started pretty well, with the Patriots' defense holding a hot Cowboys offense to a field goal on their first drive, which New England then matched on the following series, has quickly become forgettable.

They have become a team defined by their self-inflicted wounds, putting them in more complicated situations in games they could hang in or even win. That's the case again in Arlington, as their latest second-quarter drive ended in absolute chaos.

It began with a horrific punt return by Demario Douglas, who chose to run horizontally to avoid defenders by ultimately causing him to lose two yards on the return. That put the offense at the 10-yard line to start the drive.

Then, to make matters worse, Michael Onewenu was hit with a false start, moving them back even more to the 5-yard line.

The following play then saw Mac Jones try to do too much and, unfortunately, was strip-sacked right in front of the end zone, resulting in a recovery by Leighton Vander Esch for the touchdown. But that's not even the end of it.

To prove they are not fearful whatsoever of the Patriots, the Cowboys chose to go for a 2-point conversion just to put the cherry on top. And, because it's how the rest of the game has gone, they were able to complete the conversion to put them ahead 18-3.

The Patriots followed that up with a three-and-out, making matters even worse.

It has become a difficult game for Patriots fans, and it doesn't appear to get any better as the game goes on. The defense just allowed the Cowboys offense to run down the field in 11 plays for 73 yards, and although they forced them to kick a field goal, it doesn't exactly feel like a win right now.

It certainly helps since the score is now 21-3 compared to what it could have been.