Strip away the final drive and Tom Brady was a mere 19-of-32 for 211 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions (and was sacked three times). Wes Welker had his quietest game of the season and Chad Ochocinco continues to be an absolute nonfactor. The final drive (8-of-9 passing for 78 yards) saved this mark -- and the win.
The Patriots knew it would be a tough go running the ball against Dallas. BenJarvus Green-Ellis played through a toe injury to gain 58 yards on 14 carries, and the Pats finished over the century mark with 101 yards on 25 trots. Not bad against a team that had allowed just 69.6 rushing yards per game. Rookie Stevan Ridley chipped in 19 yards on three carriers, including a 16-yard jaunt.
Tony Romo had virtually the same stat line as Tom Brady: 27-of-41, 317 yards, TD, INT. A few things stand out: Miles Austin and Dez Bryant were held in (relative) check (combined 11 catches, 152 yards, 0 TD); Jason Witten had a mild day (4 catches, 48 yards) thanks to Rob Ninkovich and Co. chipping away at him at the line; and the Patriots finally generated a pass rush with Andre Carter sacking Romo twice.
Take away a 17-yard scramble by Tony Romo and Dallas ran for a mere 60 yards on 23 carries (2.6 yards per). Rookie DeMarco Murray finished with a team-high 32 yards on 10 carries. In a week in which Mike Wright went on injured reserve, the unit puts together a quality effort, aided by the play of linebackers Gary Guyton and Brandon Spikes (combined 20 tackles)S.
After being hurt by big plays in the kicking game, the Patriots tightened up on returns (three touchbacks on five kickoffs; two punt returns for 1.5-yard average). They didn't even mind seeing the opposition make three field goals (that meant red-zone stops on defense), while Stephen Gostkowski hit a pair of chip shots in the first half.
The Cowboys lived up to their promise and generally brought the kitchen sink at Brady. The Pats did a decent job keeping him clean, especially on the winning drive. On the other side of the ball, the D is playing inspired ball after some early-season struggles. Red flag watch: Bill Belichick remains on fire, using video review to get Wes Welker a touchdown in the first half.