The Dallas Cowboys looked the part of a Super Bowl contender in the way they looked in every facet of the game against the visiting Chiefs.
If you knew that one of the two teams playing in Dallas on Sunday afternoon was once considered the single best team in the NFL just a few weeks ago, you would have undoubtedly believed it was the Dallas Cowboys. The home team outplayed the visiting Kansas City Chiefs in a 28-17 win from beginning to end, showing solid execution in every single facet of the game, including special teams.
The Chiefs certainly look much different than they did a matter of weeks ago, having lost three of their last four games. If the AFC West weren’t such a surprising laughingstock, they might be feeling much more pressure than they are now. Despite being 6-3, the Chiefs would have to work hard to convince anyone they’re ready for a real Super Bowl run.
Quarterback Alex Smith threw his first interception of the year, to Cowboys defensive back Jeff Heath, and other weapons simply couldn’t get it moving. Kareem Hunt, the NFL’s rushing leader, had only 37 yards on 9 carries, despite running behind a fully healthy line for the first time since Week 3. Tyreek Hill created an incredible touchdown as time expired in the first half, but was largely silent other than that single play.
As for the Cowboys, they looked sharp throughout the entire day, coming up big on offense, defense and special teams. Zeke Elliott ran for 93 rushing yards and a touchdown and helped keep the Chiefs frustrated on defense. Dak Prescott completed 21 of 33 passes for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dez Bryant provided a nice big target while Terrance Williams surprised everyone with a breakout night of 141 receiving yards.
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The Cowboys defense not only had 5 tackles for loss, but they only allowed the Chiefs to convert 4 of 11 third downs, stifling several drives after three snaps. They also held the Chiefs to only 3.6 yards/carry in the rushing game and forced Smith’s only turnover on the year, playing mistake-free football for the most part.
Now the Chiefs have to look inward for the next two weeks to figure out what went wrong. The first quarter of the season showed a dominant team who defeated the NFL’s finest, one after another. The second quarter featured an even team who struggled against its biggest foes but got the job done against others. Now as they’ve lost to another team, however, there are some real concerns for the Chiefs to fix.
Head coach Andy Reid has two weeks until the Chiefs face the New York Giants on November 19. If they can’t jumpstart the ground game and fix glaring holes in the secondary and run defense, the Chiefs are going to lose any level of security they’ve earned to this point.