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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly For Cowboys Against Chiefs

Brian Martin



The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly For Cowboys Against Chiefs

All of Cowboys Nation is probably riding on a high right now after the impressive performance of Dallas Cowboys were able to put together against a talented Kansas City Chiefs team. Not many people gave the Cowboys a chance to win this game, but they were able to come away with a 28-17 victory at home and improve their record to 5-3.

This is one of those games that the Dallas Cowboys needed to win. Kansas City is considered to be one of the top teams in the league, and now the Cowboys are in that same conversation as well. It took a team effort, but that is why football is the ultimate team sport.

I honestly can't tell you how excited I am that the Dallas Cowboys pulled off this victory. But, before I get too far off topic, let's jump into this week's edition of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly for the Cowboys against the Chiefs. As always, please feel free to use the comment section at the end of the article to share your own thoughts and opinions on this topic.

LB Sean Lee

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

The Good

There were just so many different ways I could have gone this week to identify the good for the Dallas Cowboys against the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday afternoon. There was Dak Prescott accounting for three touchdowns, Cole Beasley's two TD performance, or even Terrance Williams' 141 yard day. But, I think the Dallas Cowboys defense has earned the good spot this week.

From the start of the game the Dallas Cowboys defense showed something they really haven't shown the entire season… an attitude. They came out and were flying all over the field making tackles. They held the league's leading rusher, Kareem Hunt, to just 37 rushing yards and pretty much held Alex Smith in check as well. In fact, the Cowboys were the first team to intercept a pass off of Smith this season.

The Cowboys defense continues to get better week after week and they did an outstanding job against the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday afternoon. Well, if you subtract the pitiful attempt to tackle Tyreek Hill right before halftime. This is the kind of performance we need from the Dallas Cowboys defense going forward.

WR Dez Bryant

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant

The Bad

Even though a lot of us are riding on a high right now from the Dallas Cowboys victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, there could be some bad news coming out of this matchup. The Cowboys had several players injured in this game, and unfortunately nearly all of them play key roles. That is absolutely the bad this week.

Tyron Smith had to leave the game and be replaced by Chaz Green. At this time there hasn't been any kind of announcement of what type of injury he sustained, but it is deeply concerning. Dez Bryant was also injured and didn't return. The word is he has an ankle sprain, but the severity of it is unknown. Terrance Williams looked to have also injured his ankle at the end of the game, which isn't very good news for the depth at the WR position. Sticking with depleted depth at a position, Brian Price is an undervalued member at DT and his injury could end up being a huge loss.

We are just going to have to hope that none of these injuries are serious, but it is without a doubt the bad for this week.

S Byron Jones

Dallas Cowboys S Byron Jones

The Ugly

I honestly hate to single out Byron Jones because of all of the flak he receives from a lot of Dallas Cowboys fans, but Saturday afternoon against the Kansas City Chiefs was probably his worst performance as a pro. That is why he finds himself in the ugly category this week.

Unfortunately, the boneheaded penalty Byron Jones received for hitting a player out of bounds set the Chiefs up in good field position with 13 seconds left on the clock right before halftime. The Chiefs were able to capitalize on that and get Tyreek Hill in the end zone. If Jones doesn't get that personal foul penalty, the Chiefs offense likely just kneels the ball to let the clock run out before halftime.

Byron Jones was also on the wrong end of the Travis Kelce touchdown. Jones is a really good cover safety, but Kelce made it look way too easy. This will hopefully be a forgettable game by Jones, because he's far too talented to play like this. Hopefully, this will be a thing of the past.

What is your good, bad, and ugly for Cowboys against Chiefs?

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

  • Russ_Te

    Irving got a sack, Taco looked good on his, and Lawrence was disruptive. They seem to know to leave Lawrence mostly at LDE and set Irving up inside, and there might be some kind of synergy now with both getting consistent penetration. If Collins can turn a corner by the stretch run, this could turn into a withering DL.

    Most readers do not remember the fabled Cowboys DL of the 1970’s – Harvey Martin, Randy White, John Dutton and Ed “Too Tall” Jones. It’s something special when you have that kind of talent side by side on that unit, and it can dictate to offenses and change games by itself.

    So I agree that the D was a key yesterday. Lee led the team with 8 tackles, as it should be. I don’t see any issue now with the hamstring or whatever exact injury he had.

    I think I see Dak holding the ball too long, and also forcing it to covered receivers, more than what he did last year (which was almost none at all). If there is anything to that, then Linehan already knows it and they are addressing it. I would not consider it, as it is, as regression but rather a chance to nip bad tendencies in the bud. He remains the guy with poise and moxy who finds ways to make plays. It might not be a graph straight upward, but Prescott is on his way to elite QB stature over the next few years.

    Beasley came alive in this game with the 2 TD’s. He made great plays on both of them.
    Not a peep about Gathers, but it’s a wrinkle to bring in IMO for the stretch run.

    • Brian Martin

      I’m really liking what I see out of the Cowboys DL these last few games since Irving has returned from his suspension. They have been disruptive and should be a force to be reckoned with every week.

      I agree with you about Prescott. He is holding the ball a lot longer, but that’s been okay so far because his protection has been holding up. I honestly would like to see him tuck it a little more in those circumstances and pick up some positive yards, but I’m not going to change the way he plays right now. I wouldn’t want to mess things up because he’s playing at a high level.

      I don’t necessarily think Beasley finally came alive this game. He was finally targeted and responded accordingly. And, I don’t think we’re going to see Gathers this season. The Cowboys already have four TEs on the roster. I don’t think they will activate him unless there is an injury.

  • Ray Smith

    Byron is a talented player but he is not a great football player. The only reason he is not just average is that he has superior athleticism. In the last 3 years he just doesn’t show he has the IT factor.

    • Brian Martin

      I don’t disagree, but I think Byron Jones is vastly underrated for what he does for the Cowboys defense. I think he will get better as the talent around him gets better. He does a lot that goes unnoticed, but could definitely stand to improve.

  • Hobbes49

    Great game by the defense as a whole. Was very heartening to see Heath get and pick and Taco get a sack. If our defense can hold up this level of play, and our secondary continues to improve, I think this team can be the best in the NFL. Byron Jones had a bad two quarters of play, and that personal foul penalty was truly stupid, but I am inclined to give him a pass and hope to see improvement against the Falcons. Woods played a lot yesterday and maybe we will see Chido back on the field soon, and this secondary can continue to grow into a top 5 group. Seeing the pass rush we generate now on third downs is a joy to behold. Dak looked great, Zeke was strong, and it was nice to see Cole get back into a more prominent role with the offense. Witten is Witten, the O-line was strong. Dare I say this team is coming together for a Super Bowl run….

    • Brian Martin

      They certainly look like they’re coming together at the right time. I have concerns about the depth at the DT position with Brian Price’s injury, but the defense is looking strong overall.

      • Hobbes49

        Yeah, they may have to reach out to bring in a serviceable free agent. That’s a drop in talent for sure, but hopefully not too much.

        • Brian Martin

          They have to bring in somebody. I suggested Arthur Jones a few weeks ago. I think he is probably the best 1-tech FA. We will see though.

Game Notes

Cowboys, Falcons Week 11 Injury Report

Jess Haynie



Zack Martin

The Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons are both 4-5 and playing to keep their seasons alive. It's a mutual must-win game, and both will have to try to win it without some key players. Once again, we look at this week's injury reports.

Let's begin with your Cowboys, whose report is getting longer as the season wears on:

Dallas Cowboys

  • WR Tavon Austin (groin) - OUT
  • DE Taco Charlton (shoulder) - OUT
  • DT David Irving (ankle) - OUT
  • DT Daniel Ross (calf) - OUT
  • LB Sean Lee (hamstring) - OUT
  • DT Antwaun Woods (concussion) - Doubtful
  • G Zack Martin (knee) - Questionable
  • G Connor Williams (knee) - Questionable
  • DT Maliek Collins (knee) - Questionable
  • LB Joe Thomas (foot) - Questionable

The biggest news is the guy who won't miss tomorrow's game; All-Pro guard Zack Martin is expected to play despite his knee injury from last Sunday night. The Cowboys, already dealing with Travis Frederick's absence and now health issues at left guard, could ill afford to go without Martin in such a pivotal game.

Even if he was healthy, rookie Connor Williams might have a hard time getting in the game. Backup Xavier Su'a-Filo looked like an experienced former second-round pick last week, and he may be the better player for now.

The defensive line has been hit hard, particularly in the middle. With Irving and Ross out, Woods doubtful, and Collins uncertain, Dallas called up DT Christian Ringo from the practice squad. They will also be without Taco Charlton, who could play inside some. Veteran Caraun Reid will be seeing a lot of playing time.

Sean Lee's ongoing absence has become almost an afterthought now with the stellar play of Leighton Vander Esch. We've seen in the past when missing Lee meant disaster on defense, but Dallas' first-round rookie has helped mitigate the damage.

Atlanta Falcons

  • LB Deion Jones (foot) - OUT

It's a short list for Atlanta, but the one name on it is a big one. Arguably the team's best defensive player, Deion Jones will miss the game with a foot injury.

The Falcons' injury issues have been more in players suffering season-ending injuries. Both starting guards, Andy Levitre and Brandon Fusco, are on injured reserve. Star running back Devonta Freeman is also there, and those losses help explain Atlanta's 30th-ranked rushing offense.

Both starting safeties are also on IR; Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal. Atlanta has one of the league's worst passing defense this year without them, ranking 30th in yards allowed and 28th in opponent passer rating.

So yes, the Falcons injury report compared to the Cowboys' may raise some eyebrows. But in terms of who has most of their key guys, Dallas is arguably still better off.

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Game Notes

Cowboys Have Already Corrected Biggest Mistake From 2017 Loss in Atlanta

Sean Martin



Cowboys Have Already Corrected Biggest Mistake From 2017 Loss in Atlanta

The Dallas Cowboys play their next three games in 13 days, all critical to their hopes of winning the NFC East despite alternating wins and losses since week one. For the Cowboys to earn consecutive road wins, their first coming on Sunday night at the Eagles, they'll have to come out of Atlanta in much better shape than they did just a year ago.

As expected in the NFL, a lot has changed in this year. The Cowboys 27-7 loss at the Falcons in their first game without Running Back Ezekiel Elliott was the beginning of the end on a season that forced a multitude of coaching changes in Dallas.

The Cowboys stubbornness in allowing Falcons DE Adrian Clayborn to sack Dak Prescott six times by beating Chaz Green and Byron Bell is something they hoped to move past when new positional coaches were brought in at OL, TE, QB, and WR.

It took the team admitting that these moves below Offensive Coordinator Scot Linehan were not all correct two weeks ago for the Cowboys to see any real progress, but with their win last week there's hope that the Cowboys are the improved team expected weeks ago - arrived just in time for Thanksgiving.

Firing Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander was the first move, as the Cowboys named Marc Colombo OL Coach and Hudson Houck his assistant. Colombo told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas this week that he has injured Center Travis Frederick on a headset during games as well.

Colombo, Houck, and Frederick have the Cowboys offensive line confident in their ability to play to their strengths, rewarded with a renewed faith in the zone blocking scheme that was forgotten under Alexander.

If the Cowboys offensive line was their first problem in last year's Falcons loss (it was), it's becoming their biggest strength at the right time in the season.

The Cowboys necessary changes didn't stop here though.

In desperate need of a play maker on the outside, the Cowboys are seeing their investment into Wide Receiver Amari Cooper pay off so far. Cooper is averaging 3.2 yards of separation on his routes this season, ahead of Cole Beasley's 2.6 yards as the next closest pass catcher.

Cooper's presence was a big part of Ezekiel Elliott's 151 yard rushing performance at the Eagles. A player that can win on the outside with ease and dictate coverage has benefited Prescott and the Cowboys game plan on offense enough to send away a first round pick.

It will be up to this "rebuilt" Cowboys offense to match the Falcons on Sunday. Atlanta is averaging 27.1 points per game this season, but a much more dangerous 32.2 at home. After a 1-4 start, the 4-5 Falcons are playing in front of their home fans for the first time in two weeks, losing at the Browns in week ten.

The Cowboys felt they'd be prepared for games like this after their offseason moves, instead needing to show the type of in-season urgency that's been rare for Jason Garrett's team. The same can be said about a Falcons team that's experienced playing with their backs to the wall much sooner than the Cowboys have this season, setting up a big NFC match up in the early slot Sunday.

Dak Prescott will be thankful that Chaz Green nor Byron Bell are protecting him, wanting nothing more than to deliver another win for the Cowboys to take into Thanksgiving against the division-leading Washington Redskins. Not all of the coaches responsible for the lack of adjustment in last year's game are gone. What the Cowboys do have are tangible new ideas from coaches that understand they need more than a win at the defending Super Bowl champions to call this Cowboys season a success.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Have Already Corrected Biggest Mistake From 2017 Loss in Atlanta" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Game Notes

Do Or Die: Chidobe Awuzie Must Improve Sunday, Or Cowboys Season Could End

Kevin Brady



Will Chidobe Awuzie's Return Benefit The Cowboys' Defense?

Coming into the season there was a lot of hype surrounding the Dallas Cowboys' cornerbacks. With Byron Jones moving from safety full time, and now second year player Chidobe Awuzie playing opposite Jones after a promising rookie season, there was a lot for Cowboys fans to be excited about.

Through the first 10 weeks of the year, though, only one of those two has maintained fans' excitement. While Byron Jones has been arguably the best cornerback in all of football, Chidobe Awuzie has been damn-near an automatic completion when thrown at.

Awuzie has a -5.8 coverage rating this season, 65th among cornerbacks in the NFL. Coverage rating is a metric which factors in how often a cornerback is targeted as well as how many passes they've defensed per target. Quarterbacks also have a 116.6 passer rating when targeting Awuzie, compared to just 64.5 when targeting Byron Jones. For comparisons sake, Jones' coverage rating is a +45! So you can see why "cornerback opposite of Jones" is becoming a need for the Cowboys.

What's perplexing about Awuzie's season, though, is that he is only giving up an average 0.95 yards of separation, 27th in the league (courtesy of So while Awuzie is playing relatively sticky coverage, he's still being targeted often, and he's still allowing completions way too often.

This week, Chidobe Awuzie will be tested once again, this time by the dynamic passing game of the Atlanta Falcons. The match-up many fans are focusing on is that between Byron Jones and Julio Jones, but how Awuzie does against Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu may play a bigger factor in the result.

Both Ridley and Sanu are solid supporting receivers, and considering how much attention the defense typically has to pay to Julio Jones, they tend to get man coverage often. This allows for a precise route runner like Ridley to take advantage of opportunities, and come away with the types of big plays we've seen from him this year.

When matched up with either of these weapons, Awuzie will need to continue to stay close, but play and defense the ball better. He must continue to make it hard on these receivers and force them into contested catches, but hopefully he can improve on his play when the ball gets to the catch point.

Sunday will be another big test for the Cowboys' young defense. And as well as they have played most weeks, this game has the potential to be a season ender if certain guys do not step up. One of those guys who will certainly play a key role in influencing the result in Chidobe Awuzie.

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