Tom Brady was sacked five times by a Dallas Cowboys pass rush that saw the return of defensive end Greg Hardy and linebacker Rolando McClain.
The Patriots offensive linemen struggled to slow the attack as New England punted on four of seven first-half possessions. But Brady & Co. regrouped to score 17 second-half points as the quarterback completed 10-of-11 passing and threw two touchdown passes in the final 30 minutes.
During coach Bill Belichick’s postgame news conference, a reporter asked Belichick about his quarterback’s resiliency after taking all those hits. Belichick grew a bit edgy, thinking Brady’s toughness was being called into question.
Here is the exchange:
Reporter: After Tom took so many hits in the first half, what does a game like this say about his toughness, his resilience, that sometimes might get overlooked?
Belichick: I don’t think it’s overlooked. I don’t think anybody questions Tom’s toughness. Who’s ever done that?
Reporter: I’m just saying it could be overlooked.
Belichick: By who? Tom’s one of the toughest players in the league.
Listen to the exchange at 4:32:
Follow Rachel G. Bowers on Twitter @RachelGBowers.