Cowboys stymie potent Kansas City offense, win critical game

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 29: Running back Ezekiel Elliott
LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 29: Running back Ezekiel Elliott /

The Dallas Cowboys played their most complete game of the year at the most crucial time. This bodes well as the season moves forward.

I can’t sit here and lie and tell you I thought the Dallas Cowboys were going to win yesterday. The Kansas City Chiefs came to town with their high-octane offense and their 6-2 record. Sure, the Cowboys showed significant signs of improvement in recent weeks. But this was the Chiefs. It was Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill. The stage was set for a humbling, back-to-earth contest.

Well, the exact opposite happened. Despite a coronary-inducing Chiefs’ touchdown in the dying moments of the first half, the Cowboys put forth a dominant effort on both sides of the ball. In fact, the defense played their best game of the year against a quality opponent. Heart attacks aside, when you hold an offense like Kansas City’s to 17 points and under 350 total yards, it’s cause for downright celebration.

Furthermore, the offense hearkened back to the 90’s heyday, in terms of efficiency. Quarterback Dak Prescott completed 64% of his passes. More importantly, he protected the ball and made plays with his arms and feet. Running back Ezekiel Elliott churned out a workmanlike 93 yards on 27 clock-draining carries. Somewhere, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith surely nodded in approval.

Forgive me for my overly effusive praise, but the visible progress within this bunch is profound. The waning efforts against teams like the Rams and Packers have been replaced with resounding endeavors versus anyone that gets in their way. Make no mistake, it’s all systems go as this squad moves forward.

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Of course, the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles loom large in the coming weeks. The gauntlet of quality opponents doesn’t get any easier. Sure, Atlanta looks like a shell of their former selves. But they’re still the defending conference champions. Plus, they have to go to their place and try to win a game.

If the Cowboys continue to play the way they did yesterday, the ubiquitous target on their backs only gets larger. Such is life as America’s Team. Hate all you want, haters, but that’s the truth. The league is better when the Cowboys are good.

But I’m not necessarily here to get on my Cowboys’ Nation soapbox. I’m a homer, but I’m a realist.

And the reality at this moment is that this team’s arrow is pointed up. This is especially true on the defensive end. While a healthy skepticism was warranted against the 49ers and Redskins, a mostly dominant effort against the Chiefs is a major building block en route to any notion of postseason glory.

Next: Why the Cowboys explosive offense will only improve

Take much joy from yesterday’s game, Cowboys’ fans. Our team stepped up on a big stage. I imagine that trend continues. Of course, this doesn’t take any impending suspensions into account. But even then, there are rumblings of a settlement. At this point, nothing would surprise me. So don’t be surprised about any future developments regarding this team, on the field or off.