The Dallas Cowboys will play the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. Both teams come into the Week Two match-up undefeated. The Cowboys had a narrow 36-31 win over the New York Giants in Arlington last Sunday night. And the Chiefs had a decisive victory over the already struggling Jacksonville Jaguars at home, 28-2.
Now, these two teams face off and reunite old NFC East foes in Dallas and former Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid. Reid got a new job and a new quarterback this offseason when the Chiefs traded with the San Francisco 49ers number one pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, Alex Smith.
Smith was shaky but effective in his NFL debut with Kansas City completing 21 of 34 passes for 173 yards and two scores. In his last season with the 49ers, Smith was on-pace to have a career year until injury open the door for San Fransisco’s present starter Colin Kaepernick. The second round pick out of Nevada in 2011 led the 49ers to the Super bowl last year, while a fully-healed Smith watched helplessly from the bench.
The Dallas Cowboys new Monte Kiffin lead defense is fairly certain to concentrate the bulk of their efforts to stop All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles on Sunday. The Texas native had a total of 100 yards and a touchdown against the Jaguars last weekend. He sat out the entire fourth quarter due to a quadriceps injury he suffered during the game. Although limited in practice this week, Reid fully expects Charles to play against the Cowboys on Sunday. How much is still to be determined.
That places the onus of the Chiefs offense on Alex Smith’s shoulders. Making his play, in my eyes, the key to the game. And former NFL scout and current analyst for dallascowboys.com, Bryan Broaddus, appears to agree:
— Bryan Broaddus (@BryanBroaddus) September 14, 2013
And that should be Dallas’ plan: To make Smith win the game with his arm. The Cowboys defense is coming off an impressive six turnover game, in which two of those were pick sixes. The Cowboys should add to that total on Sunday if they can force Smith to go to his air game. Unfortunately, that same defense allowed quarterback Eli Manning to throw for 450 yards and four scores.
Outside of All-Pro wide out Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs wide receiver corps is sub-par.It includes new free agent signee Donnie Avery, former running back Dexter McCluster and former first round pick by the 49ers A.J. Jenkins. Their leading receiver from last weeks’ game was fullback Anthony Sherman. He had four receptions for 44 yards.
Smith mainly utilizes the short pass in this offense, hoping the receiver can break tackles to gain yards. Against the Jags, his longest pass was to Sherman for 26 yards.
The last time Smith played the Cowboys was back in Week Two of the 2011 season. Many Cowboy fans will remember that game due to Dallas quarterback Tony Romo winning it in overtime despite playing with a broken rib and a punctured lung. Smith threw for 179 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in that game.