The Dallas Cowboys needed to win Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the worst way, and with great defense they did.
Earlier this week I pointed out that the Dallas Cowboys hadn’t lost at home to the Kansas City Chiefs since November 10, 1975. Thanks to an outstanding defensive performance on Sunday, it won’t be any earlier than 2021 before the team formerly known as the Dallas Texans will get the chance to try again.
Right here, it’s all about a defense that should be gaining respect at a rapid pace following a convincing 28-17 win over the AFC West-leading Chiefs that really shouldn’t have been that close.
That’s right – this game was actually a borderline blowout at AT&T Stadium.
Without an embarrassing 56-yard touchdown catch-and-run by the always dangerous Tyreek Hill as time expired in the first half, Kansas City might have never even taken a lead in this game. But with that play, the Chiefs would roll up 14 unanswered points after the Cowboys had earned an 11-point lead with just seconds remaining in that first half, which was dominated by the Dallas defensive front.
Yes, this one got sticky during the middle portion of the game, but after tight end Travis Kelce scored Kansas City’s only go ahead points to begin the third quarter, quarterback Alex Smith was never able to get anything going for the rest of the game.
The main reason Smith would toss his first interception of the year to Jeff Heath in the fourth quarter was because the Dallas front seven had zero interest in allowing NFL rushing leader Kareem Hunt to run away with this game – and he didn’t.
Hunt has been setting rookie records since that opening night blowout victory against the New England Patriots in Foxboro, but the Cowboys allowed Hunt just 37 yards on nine carries. The first-year player out of Toledo caught four passes for 24 yards and it can be said that this game was his overdue ‘Welcome to the NFL’ moment.
The Cowboys only gathered a couple of sacks on the day, but both were huge – and one was a surprise.
After taking the lead back in the third quarter by a score of 21-17, David Irving picked up yet another sack during his ‘Comeback Tour’ of opposing offensive lines. The Chiefs desperately wanted to keep the pressure on the Dallas offense, but Irving’s sack on 3rd and 11 snuffed out an ugly and short KC possession that ended up costing the Chiefs any chance at another comeback.
The other sack came late in the fourth quarter when 2017 first-round selection Taco Charlton finally reached the stat column with his first NFL sack. The very next play, Heath jumped a desperate Smith pass intended for Kelce to all but ice the game with five minutes remaining.
Sean Lee posted 12 tackles in this big win, which included a couple of huge tackles for a loss. Without Lee’s performance, there’s no way that Hunt would be held to such a pedestrian day, period. The Dallas defense really is a different unit when Lee is on the field and healthy.
And for those who might be wincing at the destruction that took place in the City of Brotherly Love, relax. Yes, the Philadelphia Eagles dismantled that same Denver Broncos team that wiped out the Cowboys back on Week 2.
But that same weekend, these same Chiefs handed the Eagles their only loss of the year at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City was no big problem for the Dallas Cowboys.
So, the Eagles can sit back next weekend during their bye to see of the Cowboys can handle the Atlanta Falcons in a road game that likely determines whether or not the Dallas Cowboys can catch the Eagles in the NFC East.
Yes, great win for the Cowboys on Week 9, but with late injuries to wide receivers Terrance Williams and Dez Bryant, not to mention the weekly courtroom drama surrounding Elliott, Dallas still has much work to do following that 2-3 start that the team is currently fighting its way out of at 5-3 now.