Game Balls & Goats: Week 6 Cowboys

Andre Carter (Getty Images)

Who did well and who didn't in New England's 20-16 defeat of the Cowboys? We hand out our patented Game Balls & Goats...

Each  week we hand out our traditional Game Balls (Good things) and Goats (Not so good) for the game. Honors can be bestowed upon players, coaches, officials, or just about anything that catches our attention, good or bad.  Ours are listed below, submit yours using the link at the end.

GAME BALLS

1. Patriots Defense – For just the second time all year, they held an opponent to under 400 total yards.  The defense held in the red zone on three dives including a crucial late Holding Dallas to a 3-and-out in their second to last series proved to be the difference.

2. Andre CarterCarter made an impact on defense, beating his blocks to get pressure on Tony Romo from the outside.  He finished with just five tackles,but  two of them were sacks of Tony Romo. The Patriots need more consistent pressure on the QB and Carter is improving each week.

3. Stephan Gostkowski – The kicker?  Yes.  He managed to put the ball in places where the Cowboys couldn't mount much of a return.  The Patriots kicker had five kickoffs, three which resulted in touchbacks and two returns averaging 20 yards each.  Gostkowski also nailed two clutch field goals with two extra points.

Honorable Mentions
Tom Brady another game, another TD throw.  The interceptions were killers, but Brady managed the team's final drive well enough to pull out another fourth quarter comeback.

Wes Welkerthat's 84 games in a row where Welker has caught a pass. He has the second most receptions in NFL history (51) through the first 6 games of a season after today's performance.

Kyle Arrington Notched his fourth interception of the year.  




GOATS

1. Costly Fumbles  – Matthew Slater is great special team player, but his fumble on a kickoff return killed New England. Slater had a big hole and an even bigger return going until that point.  Aaron Hernandez's fumble after a catch deep in Dallas territory snuffed out an opportunity for New England to regain the lead, it was  13-13 at late in the game.

2.  Costly Interceptions – You could fault Tom Brady for throwing a pair of passes he shouldn't have, and you'd be right. But his fourth quarter comeback absolves him of a full goat here.  Brady's first pick was a 1st-10 pass intended for Deion Branch at New England's 24. It led to a Dallas Field Goal (3-3). His second came in the fourth quarter killing a drive at the Dallas 26. Dallas scored another field goal to take the lead (16-13).

3. Bad Call – The Patriots were forced to use the challenge flag again to overturn a call the officials made on Wes Welker's second quarter touchdown. Welker broke the plane of the goal line and should have been caught by the official review on scoring plays. Because it wasn't ruled a score, the Patriots had to throw the challenge. It was the third successful challenge in two games for Bill Belichick overturning bad calls.

Dishonorable Mentions
Blocking lapses – Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Brian Waters and Nate Solder were all beaten throughout the game. Cowboys' defenders were able to hit Tom Brady 8 times and sack him 3 others.

Pat Chung and Gary Guyton  Both players played well at other times, but this is for getting completely faked out of their shoes by Dez Bryant when they had him pinned against the sideline.

Lack of Crowd Noise – Loads of Cowboys fans.  Stadium not overly loud at crucial points in the game.

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