Dallas won the coin toss and elected to receive to begin the game. Early on it was a defensive struggle, but Dak Prescott and the offense got things rolling late in the opening frame when they went on a 7-play, 61-yard drive that consumed 3:58. The score came on a 6-yard TD pass from Prescott to Cole Beasley with 2:36 left in the quarter. Mike Nugent hit the left upright on the PAT, but the kick bounced over the crossbar, and Dallas led 7-0.
The Chiefs got on the board with 7:19 left in the first half of play when Harrison Butker connected on a 38-yard field goal that capped off a drive of 44 yards that took 9 plays and took 5:08 off the clock.
Prescott and company padded the lead with 13 seconds left in the half. The score came on a 10-yard run by Prescott at the end of a 7-play, 82-yard drive that took just 1:31. After Nugent kicked the extra point, Dallas led 14-3, and looked as though they would certainly go into the locker room in control of the game. However, that wasn’t to be.
With just 2 seconds left in the game from their 43-yard line, the Cowboys anticipated a “hail Mary” pass, and sent 7 defenders down between the 10-yard line and the goal to make certain the visitors wouldn’t score. But being the genius he is, Coach Andy Reid surprised the ‘Boys and ran 3 receivers to the middle of the field and had Smith throw the ball about 10 yards downfield to Tyreek Hill, the trailing receiver. He had nothing but green for about 40 of the 57 yards, and then SOMEHOW managed to evade 5 Dallas defenders and made it into the end zone on the last play of the half, capping a 63-yard, 2-play drive in just 13 seconds. Butker nailed the extra point, and KC was in great shape trailing by just a 14-10 score, and getting the ball to begin the second half. To make matters worse, Byron Jones was called for unnecessary roughness after the TD, and the 15-yard penalty was assessed on the opening kick of the third quarter.
After a nice return on the kickoff, Smith led his charges on a 9-play, 62-yard drive that lasted 5:54 before he hit Travis Kelce from the Dallas 2 with 9:06 left in the quarter. Butker was true on the PAT, and KC had their first and only lead of the game.
In fact, on their ensuing possession, Prescott and the offense took the lead back for good, moving 75 yards in 12 plays and winding 5:37 off the clock. The score came on a 2-yard run by Ezekiel Elliott with 3:29 left in the third quarter. Nugent was perfect on the extra point and Dallas led 21-17.
The final Dallas score came on another lengthy drive that was 87 yards in 13 plays and took a whopping 6:46 off the clock. The score came on a 7-yard TD pass from Prescott to Beasley with 9:02 left in the game. Nugent kicked the extra point, and Dallas led 28-17. The defense did the job from there, and sealed the deal when Jeff Heath intercepted Smith late in the fourth quarter. The pick was the first interception thrown by Smith in his last 299 passes.
When he was asked about the performance of his team’s defense, he was pleased with their performance in the game. “I think the defense has played well. We challenged them. Give Rod (Marinelli, Defensive Coordinator) and the defensive staff credit. That’s not an easy offense to defend. We have a long way to go.”
Precott was asked his thoughts on the big win. “It was big, but we’ll go back and look at the film. There’s an old saying, ‘it’s never as good as it looks and never as bad as you think it was.’ There’s some things we’ve still got to get better at, but we performed well on offense, defense and special teams.”
The Cowboys will now travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons this coming Sunday, November 12th, and then they will play three consecutive home games beginning on Sunday night, November 19th when they host the hated Philadelphia Eagles. Four days later, on Thanksgiving Day, Phillip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers invade AT&T Stadium, and then just one week later, on Thursday night, November 30th, their NFC East Division foe the Washington Redskins come to town. Needless to say, the next four games are all HUGE, and Dallas needs to win at least three of the four to position themselves to make the playoffs at the end of the regular season. You have to like their chances the way the offense and defense are performing, but then again, it is anyone’s guess as to whether Ezekiel Elliott will still be able to play in any of those games. It all comes down to the decisions by the 2nd Court of Appeals in New York and whether they rule in his favor or not. Without Zeke, Dallas certainly has a stable of capable running backs in Alfred Morris, Rod Smith and Darren McFadden, but NONE of those backs are a Zeke, so the challenge is greater if #21 isn’t on the field.
Stay tuned, regardless of what happens regarding Zeke, the second half of the season will most certainly be filled with excitement as well as stress for Cowboys fans, just as the first half has been!