The Cowboys defense has seen a dramatic turnaround in 2021, but one of the most underrated and often overlooked reasons has been the play of Anthony Brown opposite Trevon Diggs.
There’s also the aspect of the Cowboys being an easy opponent to get up for. The Cowboys are one of the most visible, polarizing teams in the league, just as a general statement. Add in an impressive 7-2 record, and it isn’t surprising if they’re taking teams’ best shots.
“America’s Team. When you play in an organization like this, you’re the most watched team on television,” said Dak Prescott last week. “You know other teams look at it, other fans look at it. They circle it one their calendar.”
No one’s going to have an issue getting hyped for this one. It’s a good bet everyone on both sides of this Chiefs-Cowboys matchup has had the date circled since the schedule was released.
Still, Brown’s message can still come in handy, this week and beyond – and from the sounds of it, McCarthy doesn’t plan to let them forget it. When he was told that his head coach thought so highly of his speech, Brown smiled and nodded his head.
“That was exactly what I said, we’ve got to shoot first,” he said.
Cowboys at Chiefs first injury report: Tyron Smith limited at practice - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
Tyron Smith saw some light action Wednesday, and the Cowboys are hoping he progresses to the point of playing on Sunday.
Left tackle Tyron Smith was limited in practice today with his ankle issue from bone spurs. The Cowboys are hoping he will play this week but his status is very unknown at the moment. Outside of that injury, it’s all good news for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys did not activate DeMarcus Lawrence from IR that would have started his 21-day window to play. He is progressing, but it will be at least another week before that happens. Randy Gregory will miss his second week of three on IR.
The Cowboys have a chance to issue a huge statement this Sunday, but it won’t be easy. It never is against Mahomes and the Chiefs.
It all sets up a massive showdown on Sunday afternoon. As is the case with most games, the outcome will likely come down to several one-on-one matchups.
3. CeeDee Lamb vs Rashad Fenton
CeeDee Lamb is becoming one of the top receivers in the NFL. He’s averaging 9.9 yards per target and is 10th in the league in receiving yards.
Rashad Fenton has quietly played like an elite corner this season, and the two will meet on the field on Sunday in what should be the most anticipated matchup of the game.
Fenton is currently Pro Football Focus’ second-highest graded cornerback. That mark was boosted by his performance last week in which he played 36 coverage snaps, was targeted only twice and allowed just one catch for five yards, per PFF.
On the season, the 24-year-old has allowed 5.4 yards per target.
Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore does a good job of making defenses locate Lamb, so Fenton will likely find himself covering Amari Cooper as well. But either way it’s going to be a chess match on the outside.
Cowboys practicing with simulated crowd noise in preparation for Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium - Calvin Watkins, DMN
Arrowhead Stadium is known for its crowd noise, so while it’s hardly surprising to hear Dallas is working to prepare itself to play in such an environment ahead of Sunday’s matchup, it’ll be interesting to see whether they can translate simulation into reality.
This isn’t a surprise considering the Chiefs own the Guinness World Record for loudest crowd roar at an outdoor stadium reaching a decibel level of 142.2. That was set in 2014 in a game against the Patriots. Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs play, had a previous record of 137.5.
“You look at the statistics just of the crowd noise,” coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday. “I think when we went up to Minnesota it was about 120 decibels where Arrowhead has been to 140. So that’s what we’re preparing for. It’s an incredible environment. Not a lot of our players have played there so just give them a little snippet of what it looks like today and what it sounds like. Noise will be a big part of our preparation this week.”
The Cowboys use actual crowd noise during practices to prepare for loud environments. Previous Cowboys’ teams used loud music during indoor and outdoor practices. McCarthy utilizes the simulations of the crowd.
“We just have to make sure our communication is on point this week,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “Just going into a loud stadium just making sure we’re on top of our assignments and that we communicate very well so we are all on the same page every play.”
Film room: Why QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys’ offense looked much more comfortable vs. Falcons - Nick Kehoe, DMN
Dak and the offense bounced back last week after their worst outing of the year the week prior. Nick Kehoe breaks down the film to show you exactly how the team managed to get back on track.
Prescott was sharp on Sunday. He clearly had a good feel for what Atlanta was trying to do from a pressure standpoint. Not only did he effectively set the protections at the line (as seen above), but he knew when the pass rush couldn’t entirely be accounted for by his blockers.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Kansas City Chiefs: TV, time, spread, line, network - Stefan Stevenson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
One of the biggest premiere games of the 2021 NFL season is fast-approaching, and while Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes may not have looked up to their usual juggernaut status, they are on an upward trend the past couple of weeks.
The Cowboys are 7-4 all-time against the Chiefs, including a 28-17 win in their last meeting in November 2017 at AT&T Stadium. That was a four-point game until Cole Beasley caught a touchdown pass with six minutes remaining.
The Cowboys (7-2) lost 17-16 the last time they played at Arrowhead Stadium in September 2013. The last time the Cowboys won there was in October 2009, a 26-20 win in overtime. Seven of the 11 meetings dating to 1970 have been one-score games.
The Chiefs have won three consecutive games, including a 41-14 thrashing of the Raiders on Monday night.
The Cowboys are coming off a 43-3 win over the Falcons and have won seven of their past eight games.
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