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(Reuters) - Tom Brady was sacked five times in the first half, but the New England Patriots quarterback still managed to lead the defending Super Bowl champions to a 30-6 rout against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Brady had not been sacked five times in a half since late in the 2001 season in a game against the Buffalo Bills.
Still, despite his first-half struggles, 38-year-old Brady had the Patriots ahead 13-3 at halftime with a one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for his first rushing touchdown in three years.
“I don’t think anyone has ever questioned Tom’s toughness,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “I think Tom is one of the toughest players in the league.”
Brady remarked that the Cowboys defensive scheme caught the Patriots offense off guard. But after a few adjustments, New England was on its way.
“There were a lot of adjustments today,” Brady told reporters. “I don’t think we practiced much of what they were doing.” Brady wasn’t sacked in the second half, but he credited the Cowboys defensive front and its speed.
“It’s a good front,” he said. “They’ve got good team speed. I was probably holding it too long on some of those plays. "Offensive line, I think they do a great job. Like I said, we adjusted to some different things. "It’s four games into the year and you can’t practice everything. We’ll make the adjustments and hopefully be better next week.”
Brady tossed two touchdowns in the second half as the Patriots improved to 4-0 for the fourth time in his 16-year NFL career. Brady, Peyton Manning and Fran Tarkenton are the only quarterbacks to start 4-0 at least four times in their careers.
Since a federal judge overturned Brady's four-game suspension for the player's alleged role in deflategate, Brady has tossed 11 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Reporting by Tim Wharnsby in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Both