For a great majority of the game, the Dallas Cowboys dominated the Kansas City Chiefs as they pulled off a 28-17 victory to go to 5-3 on the season. Of course it still ended up being nerve-racking thanks to a little run the Chiefs had in the middle of the game. The Cowboys would stay poised, regroup, and finish the game strong. Here are 10 observations from the game.
1. Thank you 9
Tony Romo would make his first ever television broadcast of a Cowboys game. To honor his return home, he was treated to a little video tribute that reminded all of us what made him so special during his 11-year career in Dallas. Romo was touched by this moment and you could see it in his face just how appreciative he was. What a great guy.
2. Defense showed up
In a game that was expected to be a shootout, things started out a little slow for both teams. The first four possessions ended in punts, including three straight 3-and-outs. The Cowboys offense would eventually get going, but the defense kept doing a great job of limiting the big plays. Granted, there was the big collapse on the last play of the first half, but if you look at the game as a whole, the Cowboys did not let the Chiefs hurt them with chunk plays.
Time and time again, the Cowboys defense would force Kansas City to sustain longer-play drives. They would rely on good tackling and players sticking to their assignments. Kareem Hunt would be held in check with nine carries for only 37 yards. Tyreek Hill only had two catches. Sure, one of them was a big play, but credit the Cowboys defense for doing a great job on these two electric playmakers.
Romo praised the Cowboys linebacker, Sean Lee for having a “football acumen that is off the charts” and a lot is made about how much of a difference he makes when he’s on the field.
Cowboys' defense with Sean Lee this season: 16.8 PPG.— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) November 6, 2017
After this showing against the Chiefs offense, I think that’s a legit argument.
"That narrative that this Dallas Cowboys defense is bad is slowly going away." -- #Romo— Mark Lane (@therealmarklane) November 6, 2017
3. The pick-six that wasn’t
I can’t really explain it, but how this wasn’t a pick six is beyond me.
Dak Prescott made a lot of great decisions on Sunday, but this was not one of them. He got real lucky on this play as more times than not, that pass is going to be intercepted and taken to the house.
4. A turn of events
The Cowboys were looking to give the Chiefs the ball back in great field position late in the second half. With 1:30 to go and the Cowboys facing a 3rd and 15, Prescott would strike twice with two plays that would set up a touchdown. First, he would hit Dez Bryant for 21 yards. Then he would find Terrance Williams down the sidelines for a 56-yard gain that would set up first and goal. Three plays later, Prescott would run it in for a touchdown to take a 14-3 lead.
This sequence reminded me of the Green Bay Packers regular-season game last year when two big strikes set up a Brice Butler touchdown right before the end of the first half. It was a big momentum builder then and would have been again had it not been for what happened next.
5. Hill Mary
Just as fans were celebrating a great half of football that saw the Cowboys defense hold the Chiefs to three points, the unthinkable happened. Sparked by a personal foul penalty by Byron Jones, the Chiefs were able to go 63 yards on just two plays. The Cowboys were in a heavy prevent on the last play of the half, but Tyreek Hill had too much space to run as a poor tackling effort allowed him to go the distance to close the gap.
The Cowboys were still winning, but it certainly dampened what had been a great first half.
Cowboys are gonna need to find a way to battle back from their lead heading into halftime....— ✭Thankful McCool✭ (@McCoolBTB) November 5, 2017
6. Offense didn’t blink
The Cowboys offense came off the field with 13 seconds left to play in the first half and a 14-3 lead. Spirits were high. Unfortunately, the next time they stepped on the field in the second half, they would be trailing 14-17. That would demoralize a lot of teams. The offense sat helplessly as they watched the Chiefs regain momentum and take the wind out of the sails of what was a great start.
But the offense came back on the field and picked up right where they left off. After a seven-play, 82-yard at the end of the second half, they would put together back-to-back second half touchdown drives that would once again give them an 11-point lead and take back the momentum. It was a great show of resiliency by both the offense and the defense as the team took control of the game after the Travis Kelce touchdown catch.
#DallasCowboys outscored Chiefs, 14-0, after the Potato Sack Race.— Taylor Stern (@TayStern) November 6, 2017
Those potato sack races can be tiring. Maybe Kelce should have stuck to dancing.
7. The real sack race
DeMarcus Lawrence’s sack streak came to an end, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t disruptive. Several times Tank would create problems in the trenches. He would cause a false start and constantly be in Alex Smith’s face.
David Irving’s sack streak is still alive as he got another one and now has a sack in each game he’s played so far this season.
No taxidermied animals for David Irving tonight. It’s 85 degrees in Texas. But he does have six sacks in four games— David Helman (@HelmanDC) November 6, 2017
But the sack everyone will be talking about came from rookie Taco Charlton. After a first half that has seen him essentially be invisible, Charlton was able to get his first career sack. He sure picked a great time to do it.
While it’s been a slow start for the Cowboys first-round draft pick, he continues to show improvement from week to week. That’s what you’re hoping for in a rookie.
8. Alex Smith throws his first pick of the year
The Chiefs quarterback is having a great year as he came into the game with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions. He would throw two more TD’s in Sunday’s game, but his interception streak would come to an end when Jeff Heath stepped in front of Kelce for the pick. It was a great play for a player who has been under fire for most of the season.
How many NFL players have kicked field goals and intercepted passes this season?— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 6, 2017
9. Big plays from TDub
The Cowboys offense was extremely well balanced. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 93 yards. Dez Bryant had six catches for 73 yards. And Cole Beasley caught two touchdown passes. But the offense got a spark from the surprising contribution of Terrance Williams. The Cowboys fifth-year receiver would finish the game with nine catches for 141 yards and had the third best game of his career and his first 100-yard game since Prescott became the quarterback.
10. Last game for Zeke?
This next week will be telling as to whether or not the Cowboys will have their star running back going forward. Elliott continues to be the workhorse on offense as he had 27 of the 28 running back rushing plays in the game. Alfred Morris had one carry for 11 yards which is always a welcoming sight as we ponder life without Zeke. Who knows what will happen next and I’m not going to expend any more energy making guesses. All I know is that it was nice to have him against the Chiefs and the Cowboys didn’t waste this opportunity.