It’s not really a shocker that the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs had a rough early part of the 2021 season, but they still have plenty of talent and were bound to turn things around. No, what was shocking was how they beat the Cowboys. They didn’t outlast Dallas in a shootout which was the prevailing wisdom for a Chiefs’ win coming into the game.
Instead, their defense absolutely manhandled the Dallas offense, specifically the offensive line. The Chiefs defense spent the majority of the game in the Dallas backfield. Dak Prescott was sacked five times, and was pressured on numerous other dropbacks. It was a constant jailbreak that left the Cowboys stunned and staggering. The offense couldn’t find a rhythm and never crossed the goal line.
Obviously not having Tyron Smith and Amari Cooper in the lineup was a problem from the start. Losing CeeDee Lamb for the second half of the game was just more trouble for an offense that already had no answers. Maybe having them in the lineup would have changed things, but every offensive lineman for the Cowboys was beaten badly at different parts of the game. Even Zack Martin took his lumps.
More worrisome for Dallas is that this is two out of three games where their offense has been stopped. Stopped cold. Only the garbage time points in the Denver Broncos game kept them from being kept out of the endzone for two whole games. That is a team starting to move in the wrong direction. At the wrong time of the year.
We’ve spent some time talking about the Cowboys fight for a top seed in the NFC. They are still in the hunt for that, but they need to forget about that for the moment. They need to lock down the NFC East and get their own confidence back. The Philadelphia Eagles are starting to win and now sit at 5-6 while the Cowboys are 7-3. That’s still a decent lead, but the Cowboys need to quit dropping games.
They won’t have Amari Cooper on Thursday versus the Las Vegas Raiders. The status of CeeDee Lamb could be up in the air if he is in concussion protocol. Who knows when Tyron Smith will return. The Cowboys offense will need to do this without a full arsenal.
Dak Prescott didn’t have a good day. His receivers didn’t help by dropping passes. The team as a whole keeps picking up inopportune penalties and the run game was dud. But the biggest problem on the day was the inability to protect Prescott when he dropped back. The Chiefs weren’t a feared pass rush team coming into the game, but they obliterated the Cowboys offensive line. Defensive tackle Chris Jones had 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and tipped the pass that led to Prescott’s final interception.
We’ve been down this road before with the Cowboys. A promising season that starts to wobble and then the wheels come off. Right now, it’s only starting to wobble a little bit. We’re feeling some unwanted vibrations in our smooth-running machine.
It’s short week for the Cowboys. Time for a quick pit stop of maintenance then time to dispel any idea of crashing. Their goals are still there for them, but it feels a little shaky at the moment.