Patriots & Cowboys - First Quarter Hightlights

Ian Logue
October 16, 2011 at 05:03pm ET

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Some highlights from the first quarter:

Matt Light is being tested early in Sunday's battle with Dallas. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

- Kyle Arrington with the first interception on Tony Romo on Dallas' opening drive.  Looked like he was trying to hit Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant coming across the middle, but threw it behind him and right into Arrington's arms, his fourth interception of the season.

- Brady was introduced to Dallas' Demarcus Ware on their opening drive, with Ware making the sack on the Patriots signal caller to stall their first drive.  Ware battled Matt Light, and managed to fight his way inside and around Light to take him down.  This marks the second straight game they haven't been able to score on their opening drive after having done it in their first four games, but failing to do so last week against New York, and now today against the Cowboys.

- Patriots doing a decent job early of getting pressure, with Andre Carter landing a sack on Romo on a 3rd and 6.  Fans also saw a decent job up front by New England's defensive line pushing the pocket back, allowing linebacker Brandon Spikes to also getting pressure.

- Devin McCourty caught a huge break after it appeared he was going to be called for pass interference on a 3rd & 9 play with the Cowboys on their own 22 yard line, which would have given them 1st and goal.  Instead, Dallas was called for holding, which offset the penalty.  The Cowboys followed that up one play later with a false start penalty.  That forced a 48-yard attempt by Dallas, and they converted, tying the game up at 3-3.  On that sequence the Patriots defense held the Cowboys to 4 plays for -7 yards.

- Tough break for Matthew Slater on the ensuing kickoff return.  He got the ball knocked out on the return, and the Cowboys recovered at the Patriots 32 yard line.  That put Dallas back in business in New England territory.  Instead the Patriots defense forced a turnover thanks to Vince Wilfork, who stripped the ball away from runningback Tashard Choice, and Gerard Warren recovered.

- It's not every day you see Logan Mankins lose a physical battle, but Mankins went into Marcus Spears, and Spears made a quick move outside, and Mankins essentially pushed him into Brady while trying to keep him off of him.

Needless to say it's been an interesting start.  If it's a sign of things to come, it should be quite a game at this rate.