Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns and Dallas beat the New England Patriots 38-28 Sunday.
The Cowboys scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and three more in the second quarter as they overcame a big second-half deficit and a three-and-out by the Patriots to win the NFC East.
“I just tried to get in the flow, I tried to make plays and get a lot of points,” Prescott said.
“We came out with a good attitude.
I think it’s just our mindset.
I felt good.
We made plays and they made some big plays.”
Dak Prescott (right) throws during the second half of an NFL football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2018, in Arlington, Texas.
(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP) Prescott had a season-high seven completions, including two in the third quarter, but the Cowboys did not score on fourth-and.
But, after three drives of 28 seconds or less, Prescott was sacked by New England safety Shaq Mason.
Prescott’s two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter were his first since Sept. 29 against the Miami Dolphins.
“The first couple of plays that he made were big plays for us,” New England coach Bill Belichick said.
The Patriots had a big first-half drive and came out flat on their face, allowing Prescott to throw two touchdown strikes in the game’s first three quarters.
He completed 13 of 19 passes for 145 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
New England had no trouble stopping Prescott, who completed 20 of 31 passes for 241 yards with two touchdowns and two touchdowns rushing.
The Pats scored the last 10 points of the third period on a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Logan Paulsen, but it was not enough.
The second half began with the Cowboys trailing 13-7.
The team scored on its first two drives of the fourth, but that led to a 21-yard run by Jason Witten that put the Cowboys up 21-10 at halftime.
After Prescott had his third interception of the night, it was 24-7 with 1:12 remaining.
The defense did not hold New England to a field goal and a punt returned for a touchdown.
“This is not a game where you just make plays,” Belichick said, “you have to get better.”
New England held Prescott to one touchdown and three interceptions, while the Cowboys had four sacks and two turnovers.
“It was a great effort by the defensive guys,” Belichick added.
“They kept us honest and disciplined.
They did a good job with the ball, but we made mistakes.
It’s a good feeling.”
Cowboys kicker Adam Vinatieri had a game-high 10 field goals and seven extra points for Dallas.
Prescott threw five touchdown passes for the third time in his career.
The last time he had a six-touchdown game was in 2013 against the Green Bay Packers.
“He’s done a great job of coming back from a season ago,” Patriots coach Bill O’Brien said.
He added that it was a good test for the Patriots.
“Every game, you play against a team like this, they’re going to play hard and they’re very physical,” O’Brien said.
New York lost for the fifth time in six games.
New Orleans is playing for its eighth consecutive home loss and is 0-3 in the NFC North.
“If you look at it, I’m not concerned about any of the other teams,” Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler said.
It was the second time in five weeks the Saints lost to a team from the NFC South.
“For me, this game is about winning.
It doesn’t matter where you’re from, we’re trying to win,” New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara said.
Kamara had two carries for 16 yards and the Saints also scored on a 1-yard scamper by Travaris Cadet.
“That was good,” Orioles linebacker Deon Cain said.
“(The defense) did a great thing and it was good for us to get the win.
But we need to get a couple more wins.”
New Orleans also lost quarterback Zach Mettenberger to a torn ACL in the season opener and running back Travonte Valentine to a broken leg in the Week 1 loss to Carolina.