Patriots bench Mac Jones after dreadful performance against Dallas


Jones threw a pair of interceptions and nearly gave up a third, prompting an appearance from Bailey Zappe.

Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe
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The Patriots decided to bench Mac Jones and play Bailey Zappe in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

Jones went 12 for 21 with 150 yards, a pair of interceptions, and no touchdowns before being pulled.

The Cowboys led the Patriots 31-3 at the time of the benching, and 14 of Dallas’s points came from Jones’s turnovers. One of his interceptions was returned for a touchdown by DaRon Bland just before halftime. Leighton Vander Esch also returned a Jones fumble for a touchdown.

Jones narrowly avoided a third interception when Dallas’s Jayron Kearse dropped a ball that was thrown right at his hands.

Zappe’s appearance marks his first game action since October 24th of last year, when Jones returned from injury to start against the Chicago Bears. The Patriots benched Jones after a lackluster start in that game, too, but opted to stay with Jones for the remainder of the season after the Bears blew out New England at home with Zappe under center.

The Patriots released Zappe on cutdown day, but the second-year quarterback cleared waivers, allowing the Patriots to bring him back.

Jones now has five touchdowns against four interceptions this season.