(Photo credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Leighton Vander Esch and DaRon Bland each scored defensive touchdowns in the first half, and the host Dallas Cowboys rolled to a 38-3 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.
CeeDee Lamb and Hunter Luepke also scored for Dallas (3-1), whose three victories all have come by 20 points or more. Dak Prescott completed 28 of 34 passes for 261 yards and a touchdown.
Mac Jones completed 12 of 21 passes for 150 yards and two interceptions for New England (1-3). Jones was replaced late in the third quarter by Bailey Zappe, who completed 4 of 9 passes for 57 yards.
Dallas outgained New England 377-253. The Cowboys tallied 22 first downs, compared with 10 for the Patriots.
The Cowboys wasted no time setting the tone. They established a 10-3 advantage at the end of the first quarter and surged to a 28-3 lead by halftime.
Brandon Aubrey started the scoring with a 23-yard field goal for Dallas.
New England pulled even at 3-3 after Chad Ryland made a 29-yard field goal.
Dallas took the lead for good late in the first quarter. Prescott threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Lamb to finish off a 10-play, 75-yard drive.
The Cowboys' defense notched a touchdown to make it 18-3 early in the second quarter. Defensive end Dante Fowler sacked Jones and forced a fumble, and Vander Esch picked up the ball and ran 11 yards to the end zone for his first career touchdown.
Dallas added a two-point conversion on a trick play as punter Bryan Anger took the snap, pretended to hold it for the extra-point attempt, and then lobbed a pass to defensive lineman Chauncey Golston.
Aubrey made another 23-yard field goal with 4:03 left in the half.
Dallas showcased its defensive prowess once again to go ahead 28-3 with 54 seconds before halftime. Bland jumped in front of a high pass by Jones and sprinted down the field for a 54-yard pick-6.
Aubrey added a 33-yard field goal to make it 31-3 in the third quarter.
Dallas closed out the scoring on Luepke's 3-yard rushing touchdown with 6:38 remaining.
--Field Level Media