By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
FOXBORO (CBS) -- It wasn't easy, but the New England Patriots improved to 10-1 on Sunday afternoon with a 13-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
On a wet, windy late-November evening in Foxboro, offense was tough to come by for both teams, as punts and missed field goals were the story of the game. Yet in a game where execution in all three phases of the game ruled the day, the Patriots -- as they tend to do in such situations -- proved to be the better team.
The Cowboys had a chance to win the game late, taking over at their own 8-yard line after a Jake Bailey punt followed a Rex Burkhead drop on third-and-10 for the Patriots.
Dak Prescott's efforts to lead a game-winning drive were hindered by a tripping penalty on Travis Frederick, which turned a fresh set of downs into a third-and-11 for Dallas. Prescott threw incomplete on third down, and then he threw a deep ball over the middle to Amari Cooper. The receiver made a spectacular diving catch to get the Cowboys near midfield.
But the replay assistant called for a review, and replay showed that the football bounced off the ground before Cooper secured possession, leading to an overturn of the call and a turnover on downs.
That decision gave the Patriots a first-and-10 at the Dallas 25-yard line with 1:44 left in the game. Sony Michel broke a 12-yard run, which allowed New England to drain the final seconds off the clock. Brady took a snap with 5 seconds left, taking four seconds off the fourth quarter to end the game.
The Cowboys took over with just 1 second remaining and the ball at their own 15-yard line. Prescott completed a pass, but the receiver was swarmed and tackled to end the game.
The Patriots opened the scoring late in a scoreless first quarter, thanks in large part to Matthew Slater blocking a Chris Jones punt. The Patriots recovered deep in Dallas territory, and Brady connected with N'Keal Harry for a 10-yard touchdown pass, the first touchdown reception of Harry's career. Harry became the 75th different player to catch a touchdown from Brady, which extended Brady's record.
Prescott threw an interception on Dallas' next drive, setting up a Patriots field goal to make the score 10-0. Dallas responded to that score with a field goal drive of their own to cut the lead to 10-3. The Patriots then drove deep into Dallas territory but then missed a 43-yard field goal wide to the right after taking a false start penalty on the initial field goal attempt.
Folk missed a 48-yard attempt before halftime, also wide right, to keep the score at 10-6.
Neither team could score in the third quarter, but the Patriots finally broke the drought when Folk booted a 42-yard field goal to extend the lead to 13-6 with 9:32 left in the game.
The Cowboys had a chance to take an early lead, but Brett Maher's 43-yard field goal attempt was no good, bouncing off the left upright.
The Patriots were playing without Mohamed Sanu (ankle) and Phillip Dorsett (concussion) on offense, and without cornerback Jason McCourty (groin) on defense.
The Patriots will head to Houston next week to face the Texans on Sunday Night Football, their final prime-time game of the regular season.
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