Two high-powered offenses, two absolute star quarterbacks, and a whole bunch of story lines. Yeah, it’s easy to see why the Dallas Cowboys versus the Kansas City Chiefs is America’s game of the week. We knew this game was going to be tough from the day it was scheduled, but the loss of Amari Cooper made things a bit harder as the Cowboys will once again play another game without their entire projected starting offense on the field. It’s hard to believe that they haven't done so even once this year.
Its little facts like the one above that shows you how impressive this season has been for the Cowboys. Injury after injury, adversity after adversity, and this team has found a way to bounce back and continue winning with their next man up philosophy. It will be more of the same on Sunday except they roll into town against one of the young, great quarterbacks of the league. This offense can still score down a man, they’ve proven that all year, but the defense will also have a big challenge in containing Patrick Mahomes.
You can look at all three phases of both these teams and convincingly state that there is an X-Factor on all three units. However, these two individuals, one a Cowboy, one a Chief, will have the biggest impact on Sunday’s game.
Dallas Cowboys X-Factor:
Losing Amari Cooper for two weeks is not ideal in any scenario. However, we have seen Ced Wilson step up when his name has been called and it looks like it will be called once again on Sunday. Michael Gallup being back in the fold came at the perfect time, but with Cooper out, look for Wilson to have another round of increased workload.
The defense of the Chiefs came be beaten. The weakness for them is in the secondary, and the Cowboys have the personnel and the ability to make teams like that pay. We very well could see another big day from CeeDee Lamb, we could also see Gallup’s first big performance of the year, but what is going to be important is making sure that Ced Wilson is productive and makes this secondary pay when those other guys don’t have the ball. Making sure this offense doesn’t skip a beat in Cooper’s absence will be extremely important, and Cedrick Wilson will be a big part of that, and that is why he is a clear X-Factor on Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs X-Factor:
The young right tackle is going to get the start on Sunday, and although he has played some games at the position, he looks to be the Chiefs third option at the spot, creating an interesting opportunity for the Cowboys pass rushers. Lucas Niang suffered a rib injury in week nine and has not been practicing, while another possible option, Mike Remmers, had been put on injured reserve.
Every team deals with backups, and their impacts when inserted into the game. The Cowboys are no different and have employed a next man up mantra all season long. The Cowboys will look to capitalize and take advantage of the Chiefs misfortunes. Look for Dorance Armstrong, and even Micah Parsons, to take their cracks against Wylie on Sunday. The key to winning this game is for this defense to affect and limit Mahomes and his big-play ability. The best way to do that is by putting heat on him. This is not ideal for the Chiefs offensive line, and for that exact reason the Cowboys can be grateful for an opportunity to use that weakness to their advantage. How well Wylie plays on Sunday could make all the difference for this Chiefs offense, and for that reason he is the clear X-Factor.