Cowboys look disheveled, get dismantled in Kansas City

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

In the lead up to yesterday’s ugly 19-9 loss, I thought the Dallas Cowboys would be able to do anything they wanted to offensively. In fact, all the tea leaves pointed to an offensive shootout in the crisp Kansas City air. What transpired was anything but, as the Cowboys lost their second game in three weeks.

It leaves a lot of questions about this team as they move forward into the annual holiday portion of their schedule. Namely, what are they going to do about fixing their offensive line woes, especially with another game looming in a few days against the uneven-but-still-scary Las Vegas Raiders? Will Tyron Smith be ready to go? Seems like the team’s fortunes ride heavily on his injured ankle.

The Dallas Cowboys are facing some trouble that will reveal their character.

Fact of the matter is, the Cowboys’ attack sputtered and stalled all day yesterday. Quarterback Dak Prescott was under duress for the entire game and could never establish a rhythm. Of course, wideout Amari Cooper was out due to Covid, so Dallas was behind the eight ball to begin with. To make matters worse, they lost fellow pass catcher CeeDee Lamb to a concussion right before halftime.

It all added up to a pretty miserable afternoon on the offensive side. Kind of a shame, too, because the defense settled down from a shaky start and limited the Kansas City offense to 19 points. Linebacker Micah Parsons continued to prove every bit his draft worth by harassing Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes and causing a fumble.

Furthermore, the defense managed to intercept Mahomes in the third quarter and got a pretty favorable return into Kansas City territory. It didn’t matter, though, because much like the fumble Parsons caused late in the first half, the offense couldn’t cash in with a touchdown in either case.

It’s hard to get too down on the Cowboys for going to Arrowhead Stadium and losing a game. That fate befalls some pretty darn good teams. What was discouraging about yesterday’s game was the way it unfolded. Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo had a great game plan drawn up, and his charges executed a relentless wave against a depleted Cowboys’ offense.

The Cowboys could just never get any kind of groove going, and it’s now happened in two of the last three games, so we’re starting to see a pattern develop. And Thursday’s game against the Raiders now looks all the more troublesome because Cooper will miss the game with his Covid diagnosis, not to mention whether or not Lamb will be cleared from concussion protocol.

Couple this with the offensive line problems, and you’re looking at a team that’s facing the most adversity they have all season. So despite a still-gaudy 7-3 record, doubts are starting to creep in about the Cowboys and their longer term prospects for success. They’re playing with an ever-dwindling deck, and it’ll be incumbent upon the ones who can play to steer them out of this funk.

In other words, players like Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory are still a ways from returning. Amari Cooper won’t be a contributor for at least one more game, and don’t underestimate the load he puts on opposing defenses. CeeDee Lamb’s concussion is ominous in that no one knows how long those things can keep a player out. That’s a lot of firepower to be down as the calendar marches toward December, and it is very concerning.

Next. Why Micah Parsons was the missing piece for the Dallas Cowboys defense. dark

But all this said, one loss does not a season make. The Cowboys have no choice but to return to the drawing board and swing away again in a few days. We’re about to learn a lot about this bunch. There are reasons for their lackluster play of late, yes, but there are no excuses. This team is built to win now, and they need to figure a way to realize their potential, adversity or no adversity.