ARLINGTON, Texas - Maybe Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel was dropping a hint last week when meeting with the media. In acknowledging the New England Patriots do a lot on special teams that an opponent needs to be ready for, Fassel also dropped a "so do we."
After Leighton Vander Esch 's 11-yard fumble return for a touchdown, the Cowboys called on a fake extra point try. Noting New England's crashing rusher off the edge, holder Bryan Anger was able to find Chauncey Golston in the flat, giving the defensive lineman the clear opportunity to run it in for two points and an 18-3 lead with 11:09 left in the first half.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Cowboys are the first team to run a successful fake for a 2-point conversion since extra points were pushed back to the 15 in 2015. In 2019, the Cleveland Browns had a successful conversion after their extra-point try was blocked and run 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 block field goal for a touchdown and DaRon Bland returned an interception for a score.
Fake extra point dots! Are the Cowboys better in the red zone with Bryan Anger at QB???? pic.twitter.com/MRl4tyFTU2— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) October 1, 2023