The Dallas Cowboys (7-2) travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs (6-4). Dallas is coming off an utter dismantling of the Atlanta Falcons and is riding high. The Chiefs are coming off a huge win of their own, taking down the Las Vegas Raiders 41-14. The Cowboys are 2.5-point underdogs in this game.
This game is going to tell us a lot about the Cowboys. It is perhaps the toughest matchup they've had since opening week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This matchup is not going under the radar for the Cowboys either. Jerry Jones said, “It's not any other game in Missouri I'll tell you that.”
Jones also added, “I'm in Cowboy Country, I believe, in Missouri, but everybody's so excited over this matchup and I am too. I have such respect for their coach, and I have such respect for their organization. And they've certainly had a lot of success these past several years. And it's got all the matchups of going in the lion's den, a great atmosphere.”
The matchup pits two of the best offenses in the NFL against each other. Both offenses rank in the top five for total yards, with Dallas ranked number one and Kansas City ranked number four.
A sign of a great offense is third-down efficiency and both teams rank in the top five in this category, too. The Chiefs are ranked number one, being the only offense in the NFL to convert more than 50% of their third downs at a clip of 53.3%
One thing that the Chiefs do struggle with is protecting the ball. The offense has 20 giveaways on the season. Ten of those are Patrick Mahomes interceptions. The 20 turnovers are second-worst in the NFL, ahead of only the New York Jets.
The Cowboys' defense needs to take advantage and win the turnover battle as they have for much of the season. The Cowboys have 17 takeaways on the season, which ranks fourth in the NFL, and of those 17 turnovers, 14 are interceptions which is the second-most in the NFL.
So, there is no question that one of the most intriguing matchups on Sunday will be the opportunistic Cowboys defense against a turnover-prone Chiefs offense.
Defensively both teams have struggled during parts of the season, but much like both offenses, the teams are coming off stellar defensive performances.
It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys' defense comes off their outstanding defensive performance against the Falcons. The defense has struggled at times on the road this season allowing 6.1 yards per play which is the third most yards per play on the road this season. The Cowboys also allow the sixth-most passing yards per game on the road at 271 per game.
Dallas will have their hands full with the likes of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.
One of the biggest matchups of the weekend will be how the Cowboys' safeties fair against Kelce. Kelce is a security blanket for Patrick Mahomes and when those two are clicking their offense is very hard to stop.
Will we see Jayron Kearse on Kelce, or may we see some Jourdan Lewis on Kelce like we saw last week when Lewis played marvelously against Kyle Pitts?
The Chiefs' defense will have their work cut out for them too. The defense was off to a horrendous start in their first seven games of the season but have started to turn it around. They have been doing it with their front seven with the likes of a healthy Chris Jones and Frank Clark. Derrick Nnadi has also been a contributor.
The Chiefs have six sacks over their last three games and 17 quarterback hits. This has led to the Chiefs only allowing 38 points in that span.
It will be imperative for the Cowboys to keep Dak Prescott standing upright, and they have done a great job of that for most of the season. Prescott has only been sacked 11 times on the season and has been pressured on 16.2% of snaps.
The NFL game of the week should be fun and exciting as both these teams have aspirations to play deep into January, and possibly meet up again in February.
Cowboys win 28-27.