It was a game full of penalties, drops, and other miscues.
Circled on the schedule in the offseason as a potential shootout, it was nothing of the sort. Dallas’ defense did a tremendous job of keeping the Chiefs offense corralled, allowing just three points over the last 44 minutes of the contest. However an endless barrage of mistakes on top of porous pass blocking kept Dallas from being able to put together any meaningful assault. Dallas was lackluster on offense all game and ended up on the short end of a 19-9 defeat.
The loss dropped Dallas to 7-3 on the season with a short week ahead of their annual Thanksgiving game at AT&T Stadium.
The Cowboys’ offense would start to mount drives but they routinely fizzled once they got the ball inside the Kansas City 40-yard line. It was a frustrating day to say the least.
Dallas’ injury concerns grew in the contest. Already down left tackle Tyron Smith and wideout Amari Cooper, the Cowboys lost CeeDee Lamb to a head injury at the end of the first half. Without him, the offense struggled against man coverage as an inaccurate Dak Prescott was also betrayed by several receiver drops. Noah Brown and Cedrick Wilson both dropped two passes each, while Michael Gallup also flubbed one.
5 takeaways from Cowboys-Chiefs: Dak Prescott, Dallas offense struggles in loss to Kansas City - Calvin Watkins, DMN
Safe to say most of these takeaways are not positive for the Cowboys.
Parsons on top of things again
The Cowboys have used uber-linebacker Micah Parsons in different positions this season. On Sunday against the Chiefs, he mainly participated as an outside linebacker, obtaining two sacks and three quarterback hits. Parsons got sacks from the right and left sides of the line of scrimmage. At one point during the third quarter, Parsons was talking to the officials, presumably about the lack of holding calls. Just a rookie, Parsons is one of the favorites for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, if he hasn’t already having clinched it, and he is seeking respect from the officials.
Offensive line woes
The Cowboys offensive line had some changes. Dallas started Connor McGovern over Connor Williams at left guard and kept Terence Steele at left tackle with Tyron Smith missing his third consecutive game with an ankle injury. Kansas City entered the game tied for last in the NFL with 14 sacks. They left with five sacks and the Cowboys have more questions for an offensive line badly in need of Smith for Thursday’s game against the Raiders.
Ezekiel Elliott says he aggravated his knee injury but won’t blame that on performance - Charean Williams, ProFootballTalk
Elliott exited the game with an injury that looked serious at first, but the Cowboys’ running back came back in the game periodically throughout the second half.
The running back got his right leg twisted underneath him as he was rolled over by linebacker Willie Gay following a 2-yard reception in the first quarter. Elliott got up limping.
He missed a few plays before returning.
Although it appeared his ankle got the worst of it, Elliott said after the game he aggravated his knee injury.
“Just the same knee, the same knee injury I’ve been dealing with,” Elliott said, via quotes distributed by the team. “It’s feeling better, but I rolled up on it, and kind of hurt it. Overall, it’s definitely getting better.”
Elliott, though, had only 32 yards on nine carries and 36 yards on six catches. The Cowboys lost 19-9, failing to reach the end zone.
“It’s definitely frustrating for us, especially the way the defense played today,” Elliott said. “We just need to go out there and make more plays.”
Even from a bird’s-eye view, the game was not pretty.
The Cowboys won the toss and took the ball to begin things, hoping to quickly make a statement. Instead, it as the Chief who gave early notice.
After Prescott overshot an open Michael Gallup down the right sideline and then Noah Brown dropped a pass, the Cowboys were forced to punt. Kansas City then responded by traveling 86 yards in nine plays to the end zone. A 33-yard reverse to Tyreek Hill did the most damage, but a direct snap to tight end Travis Kelce in the shotgun provided the points.
The Chiefs missed the extra point, but added three more from nearly the same distance on their next possession, Harrison Butker kicking a 37-yard field goal. The opportunity came when on the Cowboys’ third snap of their next series, Prescott was strip-sacked, Jones picking up the bouncing ball to set Kansas City up at the Dallas 22-yard line.
The Cowboys got a little something going, a 31-yard end-around providing a needed spark. And Dallas eventually reached the Chiefs’ 15-yard line, only to settle for a 33-yard field goal, at least on the scoreboard, 9-3.
Whatever good vibes the Cowboys might have felt certainly didn’t last long. Mahomes connected with Byron Pringle on the last play of the first quarter for a 37-yard gain down to the Dallas 14-yard line. Three snaps later, the quarterback then pitched to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who scampered in untouched for a 16-3 advantage.
But while Kansas City may have picked up points on its first three possessions, the Dallas defense kept them in check on the next two. And that was then followed by rookie Micah Parsons chasing down Mahomes, sacking the quarterback and stripping him of the ball. Tarell Basham fell on the prize for the Cowboys at the Chiefs’ 33-yard line, the team getting one more chance to put up some points before the half.
Unfortunately, Prescott’s pass attempt down the right sideline to Lamb was picked off by Kansas City cornerback Charvarius Ward, the Cowboys’ threat ended.
It was a down game for QB1, but Dak hasn't changed his expectations for this team.
While that may be concerning, Prescott is not letting the bad 10-point road loss to Kansas City effect him heading into Thanksgiving Day’s game vs. the reeling Las Vegas Raiders.
Dak Prescott: “This is a resilient team that is going to continue to fight. I’ll promise you that. … There are no worries or discouragement about what our future holds.” pic.twitter.com/N77AKdg3ip
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 22, 2021
Dak Prescott press conference: Cowboys QB not concerned with Chiefs loss
Dallas may have a short week, but the Cowboys do host a struggling Raiders team on Thursday afternoon. After that, the Cowboys have four winnable division games and a date with a New Orleans Saints team that is not getting good quarterback play out of necessity from Trevor Siemian. Their only tough game the rest of the way is vs. the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17.
While struggling mightily at Kansas City is not great, Dallas not only plays in the opposite conference, but also plays in arguably the weakest division in football. The Cowboys may have fallen to 7-3, but this is a team every bit capable of winning 12 to 14 games.
Grading the Cowboys: Dallas unable to match Chief’s firepower without key pieces - Jean-Jacques Taylor, DMN
The upside is that not every group got an F in this one.
Ezekiel Elliott was a non-factor. So was Tony Pollard. Neither even reached 10 carries because the offensive line couldn’t control the line of scrimmage and they fell behind so quickly — 9-0 on the first two possessions — that it felt like they were hanging on the entire game. They rushed for 82 yards on 16 carries, but 31 came on a trick play by Pollard.
For the second time in three weeks, Dak Prescott was bad. He was off-target early and never settled into a rhythm against Kansas City. He passed for just 216 yards with two interceptions. The entire passing game was bad. The Cowboys dropped at least five passes, and Prescott was sacked five times and hit eight others.
The Chiefs ran for 126 yards with a 4.8 average, pretty good for a team that has no interest in running the ball. Clyde Edwards-Helaire led the Chiefs with 63 yards. Tyreek Hill added a 33-yard reverse.
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