Throwback Thursday: Tom Brady's clutch gene shines against Cowboys in 2011
The Patriots are heading to Dallas this weekend to face the injury-riddled Cowboys. It'll be the first time the Pats have played in Dallas since 2007, and it'll also be the first time they've ever played in AT&T Stadium since it opened in 2009.
With that in mind, let's revisit the last time the Patriots and Cowboys went at it back in 2011 at Gillette Stadium.
Similarly, this game was also played in October, the 17th to be exact, at 4:15 pm.
The Patriots got off to a fast start, when Kyle Arrington intercepted Tony Romo on the first possession of the game for either team. The drive ended in a Stephen Gostkowski field goal to give the Pats a 3-0 lead.
The Cowboys scored their first points after creating a turnover as well. After the Cowboys punted, Brady's first pass of the ensuing drive was picked off by Terrance Newman, and Dan Bailey was able to convert on a 62-yard field goal to tie the game.
On the next Cowboys' drive, the Patriots defense, much maligned at the time, forced another turnover when Vince Wilfork tackled Tashard Choice and knocked the ball out of his hands. It was scooped up by Gerard Warren. New England got the lead back on another Gostkowski field goal.
The Pats then built on their lead with a stellar drive that was capped off with a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Wes Welker. That made it 13-3, and it started to feel like the Patriots were seizing control of the game as they have so many times in the past.
However, the Cowboys had an answer.
The Cowboys closed out the second half by marching 93 yards down the field in a little over seven minutes to score a touchdown, making the score at halftime 13-10.
Then things got even dicier.
The Cowboys tied the game late in the third quarter with another field goal after a long 12-play, 77-yard drive that was just over five minutes. It started to get ugly for the Pats after that. Their next two possessions resulted in turnovers. One was a fumble by Aaron Hernandez, and the second was an interception by Brady to Sean Lee.
The Cowboys captured their first lead of the game after Bailey kicked yet another field goal.
It was 16-13 heading into the final few minutes and the Patriots needing to either tie or go ahead.
This was where Brady, so many times the hero, needed to shine. He didn't have his best game overall that day (27/41 for 289 yards, two touchdown passes and two picks), but he delivered when the situation was dire.
In just a little over two minutes, Brady masterfully lead the Patriots 80 yards and found Hernandez for the go ahead touchdown with just 22 seconds left in regulation. Gillette was shaking with screaming fans who were fortunate enough to witness the greatness of Brady once again.
It was a narrative so many of us had become accustomed to, but this was easily one of my favorite fourth quarter comebacks by the Patriots of all time.
The Patriots improved to 5-1 on the season, and Dallas fell to 2-3.
While this game probably isn't going to be nearly exciting, playing against the Dallas Cowboys is and will always be a big event.