Patriots turn Cowboys’ miscues into 10-6 halftime lead

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The Patriots are hard to beat anytime. They are harder to beat in Foxboro. They are hardest to beat when opponents beat themselves.

The Cowboys have missed a field goal, had a punt blocked, thrown an interception and kicked a field goal in the red zone. It is not a recipe for victory against the Patriots.

Yet, on a cold, rainy day in New England, with offense in short supply, the Cowboys trail only 10-6.

The Cowboys have outgained the Patriots 161 yards to 158 yards.

While Tom Brady is only 7-of-16 for 102 yards and a touchdown and Nick Folk has missed two field goals, the Patriots have scoring drives of 12 and 3 yards off Cowboys’ miscues.

Matthew Slater blocked a Chris Jones punt, which was recovered by Nate Ebner at the Dallas 12 with 1:28 remaining in the first quarter. Two plays later, Brady found rookie N'Keal Harry for a highlight-reel 10-yard touchdown.

Stephon Gilmore‘s interception of Dak Prescott on a pass intended for Amari Cooper with 14:23 left in the second quarter set up the Patriots at the Dallas 29 and led to a Folk field goal.

Prescott threw the ball better after putting on gloves, and he ended the first half 10-of-15 for 84 yards.

Cooper has spent more time than usual on the sideline and has no catches in the first half.

Sony Michel has rushed for 54 yards on 10 carries for the Patriots, and Ezekiel Elliott has 15 carries for 61 yards for the Cowboys. Elliott also has two catches for 23 yards.

The Patriots are 98-1 when leading at halftime at Gillette Stadium. Only the Chiefs in 2017 were able to overcome a halftime deficit against the Patriots among visiting teams.