The Cowboys vs Chiefs matchup happens this Sunday on FOX at 4:25 PM EST. That, and the fact it will be one tough test for both teams, is all we can guarantee about this game. Ignore the Chiefs’ slow start. Ignore the Cowboys hiccup of a week ago. These are two, dynamic, offensive powerhouses with nasty opportunistic defenses that are hungry to show the NFL what they can do every week. It’s Cowboys vs Chiefs, time for an Up Close Analysis.
Cowboys vs Chiefs – Analysis
What the Cowboys need to do
Dak has had one bad game this season. One. Let that sink in. The Cowboys’ offense will move the ball. Versatility is their calling card ala the ’90’s club with Dallas offering every defense a choice. Commit to doubling up our receivers and die slowly via the run OR commit to stopping the run and die quickly by flying Air America (yes, I just made that up but expect to see it start trending). Dak can go to multiple TE targets, a bevy of wide receivers and both running backs can run the route tree allowing them to line up wide. This allows the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, the ability to run almost any play from any formation, and Dak has become a master at reading the defense and making the adjustment at the line creating mismatches. This makes the Cowboys’ offense almost self-correcting. What Cowboys Nation refers to as “good times!” Then every once in a while Dak keeps it himself just to drive the natives crazy. The Cowboys’ offense is cooking.
The Cowboys D is deep, opportunistic, and runs at one speed, maximum. Again like the ’90s club, the ‘Boys use a deep, talented rotation allowing players to give maximum effort on every play. Pressure on the QB is coming from every position and every possible angle. The linebackers have the range to rove sideline to sideline and the defensive backs are aggressive on the ball. The best part is defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s ability to adjust from series to series rather than waiting till halftime or the next game to enact corrections. The result is a unit that gets turnovers in bunches and can quickly frustrate an offense as evidenced by the Falcons’ 3 points after a tremendous first drive last week. Rookie Micah Parsons is the spark plug and this group is only going to get better as the season matures.
What the Chiefs need to do
The Chiefs are all about Patrick Mahomes and like the Cowboys, his supporting cast. Patrick seems to have found his groove after weeks of high/low/bad-decision QB play Mahomes went off last week against the Raiders dropping a 40 burger on the hapless Las Vegas club while their defense held David Carr (no slouch) and company to 14 points, 50 yards rushing and 261 yards passing. OUCH!
Defensive end Frank Clark is a movable chess piece. Linebacker Melvin Ingram was a steal from Pittsburgh. Safety Tyrann Mathiew is a splash play waiting to happen and former Cowboy LB Anthony Hitchens always seems to have a better than average game against his former club. It’s an opportunistic bunch and they need to pounce on every mistake the ‘Boys make. They have the talent to do it. The Chiefs D has to stop the running game and get a couple of turnovers. They can’t let the Cowboys score every possession.
Offensively wide receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce, and RB Darrell Williams are ready to make you pay on any, and every, down. All you have to do is figure out how to get them the ball in space and hey, they have Patrick Mahomes at QB, the ultimate NFL creator. Mahomes just needs to keep being Mahomes and the Kansas City offense can keep up with any team in the NFL putting tremendous pressure on opposing clubs.
Cowboys vs Chiefs – Diagnosis
Make no mistake. This is the toughest test for both teams so far this season, well for the ‘Boys, since game 1 at Tampa Bay. However, unlike against the Buccaneers, the Cowboys can’t be satisfied with making a close game of it. In Kansas City, against possibly the best offense in the NFL, the ‘Boys needs to impose their will. Where the Chiefs are flash and speed, the Cowboys are an in-your-face, physical team that needs to beat up on you from both sides of the line to make a game follow their preferred script. The exact opposite of the old Cowboys/Steelers Super Bowls. Ah, how the worm turns.
I am becoming impressed with McCarthy. I still think he has game-day management issues, especially with the clock, yet his ability to successfully work with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore letting his coordinators use their skills to make adjustments and win games for the team speaks volumes. Not every coach can do that. It reminds me of the 1950’s New York Giants head coach Jim Lee Howell. His coordinators were Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi. Reportedly, he would sit in his office all week lamenting his hardest choice was deciding which coordinator ran practice on any given day. This is Mike McCarthy now and you know what, he’s killing it.
In truth, the Chiefs, playing at home, have the advantage but I don’t think it will matter. Tyron Smith is the wild card, and with him back (what I am hearing) the ‘Boys will be able to use the running game to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field. The talent influx on defense for Dallas is real. Talent wins. Cowboys by two scores this Sunday.
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