The Dallas Cowboys fell short Sunday in their trip to Arrowhead stadium. The Kansas City Chiefs defense was able to dominate the Cowboys' offense all day and, Dak Prescott and the offense could never get anything going.
The Dallas offensive line was a glaring issue in this contest and a big reason Dak and company struggled to move the ball. The Chiefs ended up with five sacks on the day and eight quarterback knockdowns. Prescott was under duress all afternoon and never could get comfortable in the pocket.
Dak Prescott finished the game with 5.02 yards per pass attempt, 2.93 adjusted yards gained per pass attempt, and an average completed air yards of 2.1. These numbers are a glaring indictment of the pass protection that Dak Prescott received on Sunday afternoon. Prescott didn't play well, but the offensive line play didn't give him much chance to succeed.
The poor play by the offensive line started early and never recovered. On the game's second possession, Terence Steele let Defensive End Frank Clark get a free run at Prescott, which resulted in a strip-sack and a turnover. Steele was starting with Tyron Smith sidelined for the third straight game with an ankle issue.
There is little clarity yet on whether Smith will return for the Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Raiders. Mike McCarthy said yesterday, “If he's ready, he's ready.” And he followed that up by adding, “If he's not, he's not. So, hopefully, he'll be ready to go on Thursday.”
And VP Stephen Jones added on Monday, “barring some unforeseen setback this week, he should be ready to play this Thursday.” But, they said he would play against Kansas City too until he didn't.
When asked about the switch and whether or not continuity of the offensive line was affected, McCarthy responded, “We had a full week of practice. I just think [the Chiefs] played well. They were able to rush today and played better run defense. But for the most part, it was tough going. We'll be better the next time we have to play in this environment.”
All-Pro Right Guard Zack Martin, who struggled himself, said after the game, “We didn't execute great upfront, and I don't think we did a great job of giving Dak time and letting him be comfortable back there.”
Martin added, “That's on us, and we've got to go look at the tape and have a short memory.”
The Dallas offensive line also did little to make any running lanes for Ezekiel Elliott. He only averaged 3.6 yards per carry in the game. The lack of a running game also contributed to the Chiefs' front four being able to tee off on Prescott.
It was a poor performance all around for the Cowboys on the offensive side of the ball. They will have a short week to try and patch things up on offense before they take on a slumping Las Vegas Raiders team.