The Patriots lost 38-3 to the Cowboys on Sunday -- a 35-point margin that marked the largest defeat Bill Belichick has ever seen during his illustrious 29-year head coaching career.
Despite the struggles, don't expect to see a permanent QB change. Belichick told reporters after the game that Jones will remain his starting quarterback for next week's game against the Saints.
"There was no point in leaving him out there," Belichick said of the decision to sit Jones.
Jones was pulled with 3:41 remaining in the third quarter as the Patriots were down, 31-3. The third-year quarterback had completed 14 of 30 passes for 150 yards and two interceptions for a passer rating of 39.9 upon his exit.
When asked if Jones was benched for performance or poor play, Belichick reiterated: "I said there was no point in leaving him out there, so I took him out."
Among the eight offensive possessions with Jones at the helm, the Patriots converted only seven first downs and turned the ball over three times.
"Just focus on the basic fundamentals of football," Jones told reporters after when asked how he plans to get back on track. "It really just wasn't a great day. I'm not going to let it carry over to the next week. It's going to be done after I watch the film. Definitely disappointed, but at the end of the day, I'm going to keep grinding. And hopefully the guys will come with me. It's hard, right, for me to sit up here and say that. I'm very disappointed in myself, but I've got to bounce back."
New England's offensive woes persisted despite the switch to Zappe, who led three drives that resulted in no points after Chad Ryland missed a 52-yard field goal on the Patriots' final drive. Zappe finished 4-of-9 passing for 57 yards with no interceptions.
To make matters worse for New England, the defense also sustained significant injuries on Sunday. Star pass rusher Matt Judon exited the game in the fourth quarter and is being evaluated for a potential biceps injury, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Promising rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez also left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return.
"We obviously didn't do much of anything well enough to be competitive tonight," Belichick said. "So, disappointing. Think we're a lot better team than what we showed out there tonight, but that's what we showed. That's what it was. Got a lot of work to do. Got to do a better job playing, coaching. Just got to perform better."