Week 9: The Dallas Juggernaut

Dallas had all the answers Sunday at home against Kansas City. The Chiefs were 6-2 coming in, an upper echelon team in the AFC; but they were no match for the Cowboys. If it were not for a fluke play just before the half this would have been a blowout, instead of the back and forth game it turned out to be. The Chiefs two scores sandwiching the halftime break only served to prolong the knockout blow that Dallas delivered resoundingly in the fourth quarter with stops on defense and long drives to run out the clock and put points on the board. We are beginning to see the Dallas juggernaut from last year round into shape.

Now the weekly Ezekiel Elliott court case watch begins, and preparations to play last year's NFC Super Bowl representative, the Atlanta Falcons. The Cowboys sit at 5-3, on a 3 game winning streak after the bye and a 2-3 start. The three game winning streak has vaulted the Cowboys back into playoff contention, but the potential Elliot suspension threatens to derail the dominance at any moment. Dak is showing that he is a leader that can guide the team to a winning record consistently. He does not take unnecessary chances and threatens opposing defenses with his legs and arm in the redzone.

This was the best game for the defense this year. A more formidable test than the 49ers, one would expect the Kansas Chiefs playing in the ideal dome conditions in Dallas to put up more than 17 points, but they were lucky to even get that on the board. The Dallas defense was stifling the entire game. Hounding Alex Smith were David Irving and Demarcus Lawrence, even Taco Charlton got himself a sack at crunch time. For the second week in a row the game was sealed with a fourth quarter interception, this time by Jeff Heath. Orlando Scandrick has stepped up as the bonafide leader of the secondary. He has been all over the place these last two weeks, making crucial play after crucial play.

There are some injury concerns coming out of this game primarily at wide receiver where it appears that both Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams turned ankles. This was a breakout game for Williams who had 9 receptions for 141 yards. Hopefully he gets a chance to continue this momentum next week in Atlanta. Brice Butler did not step up in Dez's absence, which has to be disappointing for a player who has the potential to be a starter in this league but has so far lacked the consistency. Dez Bryant's continued struggles this year are puzzling for more than a few fans who expected him to have a bounce back year after playing through injuries or being out most of last year. He was starting to show some signs of being more a part of the offense in this game before getting hurt in the second half.

The Cowboys now head to Atlanta, the defending NFC champs who have lost 4 out of their last 5. They will be angry. It should be another good test for the Cowboys who look to be rounding into juggernaut form just in time to make a playoff push.

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