November is starting to become a bad month at the office for the Dallas Cowboys. Two weeks after their blowout loss to the Denver Broncos, Dallas fell flat again in a 19-9 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Dallas' offense couldn't find any rhythm, thanks in large part to missing WR Amari Cooper and OT Tyron Smith. The Cowboys found out on Friday that Cooper would be out due to COVID-19 and then, in a surprise, Smith wound up not playing today after reports all week that he would return.
To make matters worse, CeeDee Lamb missed the second half with a concussion. This could be a huge issue for the Cowboys with a short turnaround to Thursday's Thanksgiving game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
The absences of these star players showed. Dak Prescott was sacked five times and had three turnovers as pass protection was rarely on his side. Dropped passes by Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown, seeing increased reps, didn't help matters.
Prescott also missed some opportunities, overthrowing Michael Gallup on an early deep ball opportunity and missing Lamb on another. He was little errant on some throws, contributing to drops, but much of that can be attributed to playing under fire all day with the poor pass blocking.
Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard were held to 82 combined rushing yards and Dallas fell behind early. Elliott only had 32 yards on nine carries but did produce as a receiver with six catches for 36 yards.
At the very least, the Cowboys defense can feel that they did their part. After giving up nine points early on the Chiefs' first two drives, Dallas held them to just 10 the rest of the way and gave the offense plenty of chances to get back in the game.
Micah Parsons had two sacks and showed up several times on other plays in a huge performance on the national stage. Jayron Kearse had an interception that he returned 34 yards to start the second half. Dorance Armstrong also added a sack.
Greg Zuerlein, making his return after a one-week absence due to COVID, went 3/3 on field goal attempts and hit them down the middle each time.
This game was always going to be a tough one on the schedule and especially with the Chiefs finding their contender's swagger again last week. On the road and short some key talent, Dallas was going to have to play near-perfectly to win and came well short of that.
Now they have just four days to figure something out before hosting the Raiders on Thanksgiving Day.