ARLINGTON, Texas — Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel may have dropped a hint last week when meeting with the media. In acknowledging that the New England Patriots do a lot on special teams that the opponent needs to prepare for, Vassell also dropped the “so do we” line.
After Leighton Vander Esch’s 11-yard return for a touchdown, the Cowboys called a fake attempt for an extra point. Noticing New England’s scramble rushing off the rim, defending champion Bryan Unger was able to find Chauncey Golston in the flat, giving the defensive lineman a clear-cut opportunity to run it for two points and an 18-3 lead with 11:09 remaining in the first. half.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Cowboys are the first team to pull off a successful fake for a 2-point conversion since extra points were backdated to 15 in 2015. In 2019, the Cleveland Browns had a successful fake after extra points. The point attempt was blocked and ran into the end zone.
Vander Esch’s touchdown was the third non-offensive score of the season for the Patriots, matching last year’s total. In the season-opening win against the New York Giants, Noah Igbinoghene returned a field goal for a touchdown and Darron Bland returned an interception for a score.
Fake extra points! Are the Cowboys better in the red zone with Brian Unger at QB???? pic.twitter.com/MRl4tyFTU2
– Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) October 1, 2023