AP Sports

Patriots pull QB Mac Jones after 2 turnovers lead directly to Cowboys touchdowns

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The New England Patriots pulled third-year starting quarterback Mac Jones after two turnovers led directly to touchdowns for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Jones had a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, and an interception that DaRon Bland returned 54 yards for a score just before halftime.

The Patriots trailed 31-3 with 3:41 left in the third quarter when second-year quarterback Bailey Zappe took over for Jones.

New England averaged only 14 points a game in its first three games, with its only win being 15-10 last week at the New York Jets.

Jones was 12-of-21 passing for 150 yards with two interceptions against Dallas.

Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch returned a fumble 11 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter after Jones was tackled from behind and lost the ball. Bland’s pick-6 came just before halftime for a 28-3 lead.

The 25-point halftime deficit is the largest ever for Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who entered the game looking to become only the third NFL head coach ever to reach 300 regular-season wins. The 300-game winners are Don Shula with 328 and George Halas with 318.

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