Jones threw a pick-6 with 2:27 left in the fourth quarter, which allowed the Cowboys to take a 26-21 lead. Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, who was a teammate of Jones’ at the University of Alabama, tallied his league-leading seventh interception.
The rookie quarterback wasn’t rattled, though, and on the very first play of the Patriots’ next drive, he challenged Diggs again and got the better of the Cowboys defense. Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne hauled in the pass and ran into the end zone for a 75-yard touchdown to give New England the lead again.
The Cowboys ultimately prevailed in overtime for a 35-29 victory, but Jones’ resiliency late in the game did not go unnoticed.
“The two-play sequence there in the fourth quarter says everything about Mac Jones,” Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer said Sunday night on NBC10 Boston’s “Sports Sunday”.
“He was willing to go back at Diggs, who leads the NFL in interceptions, the way he did and as aggressively as he did. And look, part of that was Dallas’ fault, Jayron Kearse took a horrible angle, but the fact that he was willing to take that chance again after getting burned by Diggs just a couple plays earlier, I think that says a lot about who Mac Jones is as a player.
“I talked to Diggs after the game, and he played with Jones at Alabama. He told me, ‘Mac Jones is going to be a problem for a lot of people for a long time to come.’ So the Cowboys knew it. It just makes me wonder, are (the Patriots) really pushing this kid or are they trying to hard to protect him? It’ll be interesting to see if they take more chances with him as we get deeper into the season.”
Diggs wasn’t the only player who had positive things to say about Jones following Sunday’s matchup.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, in an interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King, also lauded Jones’ ability to bounce back from the interception, as well as his overall toughness.
The most important goal for the Patriots this season was developing Jones into a quality starting quarterback. So far, the early results have been quite encouraging for New England.