By: Ian Logue
Some highlights – if you want to call them that – from the third quarter:
– The Patriots had a tough time with Dallas’ defense to start the third quarter on their opening drive. DeMarcus Ware got his second sack of the game after beating Matt Light again on the outside, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis also not able to pick him up before the defensive lineman made the sack. Brady would also later be pressured after the Cowboys got inside pressure following nose tackle Jay Ratliff slipping by Brian Waters to force an errant throw by Tom Brady to Wes Welker, forcing New England to punt.
Vince Wilfork nearly had his third interception on Sunday during the third quarter. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
– Vince Wilfork nearly had another interception on Sunday, taking a pass by Tony Romo that hit off of Dallas’ tackle Doug Free, but Cowboys guard Bill Nagy knocked it out of Wilfork’s hands.
– New England was called for a rare 12 man on the field penalty on Sunday early in the third quarter, thanks largely in part to Dallas’ decision to go no-huddle, preventing them from being able to make the necessary substitutions.
– Kyle Arrington was spotted taking a knee after making a tackle on Cowboys receiver Miles Austin after a 20-yard completion. Arrington already had a tough first half, including a helmet-to-helmet shot by runningback Tashard Choice after the two collided in the first half. He appeared to be O.K., and was seen standing on the sideline waiting to return.
– Tom Curran of CSNNE reported that Patrick Chung appeared to aggravate his hand injury early in the third quarter. As most fans are aware, Chung’s been wearing a cast on his right hand, and was seen favoring it following a gain by DeMarco Murray. It will be something to keep an eye on as the Patriots are already thin at the safety spot.
– Andre Carter landed a huge sack on a second and seven, knocking Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense back 11 yards. It was his second sack of the game, and it forced a third and goal from the 18 yard line. Luckily the Cowboys were held to a field goal, knotting the score at 13-13. The bad news is Dallas still gave the Patriots defense a workout. They ran 12 plays for 77 yards and held the ball for nearly 6-minutes.
– Patriots.com pointed out via Twitter that this is the 10th time Carter has had 2 sacks in a game during his career. The last time was when he was a Redskin against Oakland, back on December 13th, 2009.
– New England lost their first offensive fumble of 2011 on their ensuing possession, which happened when Dallas’ Brady James forced a fumble after a completion to Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez couldn’t hold on as James stripped it away, and Cowboys defensive back Terrence Newman recovered. It was bad news because the Patriots only ran 5 plays and held the ball for just two minutes coming off of that previous long possession by Dallas.
– One note stat-wise, the Patriots have run 48 offensive plays, not including penalties. 25 of them have been no-huddle.
With the score tied 13-13, it should be an interesting fourth quarter.