Coming off a win over their rival, the Patriots have a different challenge this week when they play the Cowboys, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick is making sure his players are up to speed. "Playing a team that you don't know very well, doesn't know you, presents a lot of different challenges," Belichick said Monday afternoon during his weekly interview with WEEI's The Big Show. "Completely different from playing the Jets."

The Patriots announced Monday that offensive lineman Thomas Welch has been released. Welch, a seventh-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2010 out of Vanderbilt, has had two stints on the 53-man roster after starting the season on the practice squad. He was signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Sept. 12 prior to the season-opener at Miami and saw his first NFL action against the Dolphins. He was released from the 53-man roster on Sept. 14 and signed to the practice squad the following day. He was signed for the second time to the 53-man roster on Oct.

Patriots lineman Vince Wilfork took many positive from the team's 30-21 win over the Jets and felt that, "It's definitely a step in the right direction," for a defense that has been questioned through the first quarter of the season.

In an interview on WEEI's The Big Show, Wilfork said the emphasis was on limiting big plays, winning first down and getting off the field on third down. "Each week we try to tackle those things," Wilfork said. "Last week was a great week for us. It started Wednesday. Everybody came ready to work."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning as part of WEEI's Patriots Monday.

Brady ran off the field at the end of the game without shaking hands, and he was shorter than usual in his postgame press conference. He explained that it was a combination of frustration and weariness.

FOXBORO -- He started his professional career as an afterthought, an unassuming, undrafted free agent out of Ole Miss with a funny name. BenJarvus Green-Ellis? What, you couldn’t wedge one more name in there?



FOXBORO -- Rex Ryan spoke to the media following the Jets' 30-21 loss to the Patriots on Sunday. The Jets have now lost three straight games and stand two games behind the Patriots (and Bills) in the AFC East standings.

The Patriots scored 30 points and gained 446 yards of offense, but quarterback Tom Brady wasn't particularly pleased after his team's win over the Jets.

"I thought we could have done a lot better offensively," Brady said. "I thought we did a decent job at times, but we obviously left a lot of points out there."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick lauded his team's effort -- both during the week of practice leading up to the game and on Sunday -- that helped permit New England to claim a 30-21 victory over the Jets. Belichick suggested that there was evident progress in his team, especially on the defensive side, in earning the win against a key division rival.

FOXBORO -- Wes Welker set up a key touchdown with a 73-yard pass from Tom Brady on the first play of the second half while BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored a pair of 3-yard touchdowns and rushed for 136 yards as the Patriots pulled away from the Jets, 30-21, Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium to improve to 4-1 on the season and capture their 19th straight regular-season home win. Welker, filling in for the injured Julian Edelman on punt returns, returned four punts for 54 yards.

FOXBORO -- Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been cleared to play and will be active for this afternoon's game against the Jets. The second-year tight end had missed the last two games since injuring his left knee against the Chargers in Week 2. Also returning to action after missing the last two weeks is nose tackle Albert Haynesworth. Back issues had sidelined him for games against the Bills and Raiders.

Patriots cornerback Ras-I Dowling tested his sore hip before the game and was cleared to play as was Leigh Bodden.