For Jason Garrett and his football team, this trip to Kansas City was a missed opportunity. There were plenty of outstanding efforts by players on both the sides of the ball, but when they needed a play the most, whether it was in the red zone or getting the ball back one final time for your clutch kicker to send you home with a victory, the defense wasn’t fresh enough to get a stop.
What we have learned about this Dallas Cowboys squad is that when it gets turnovers, it can play with anyone in the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs under Andy Reid will not turn over the ball on offense, but this afternoon, Alex Smith threw two passes that were the difference in 14 points.
On the Chiefs’ first drive, Will Allen was in perfect shape coverage-wise against Dwayne Bowe when Smith threw the ball behind his receiver. From the press box, it appeared that Allen had the ball in his hands, but instead of ending the drive right there and getting his defense off the field, he drops it, and six plays later, Smith is able to lead his team into the end zone for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
The second missed opportunity came right before the half on third-and-10 from the Dallas 39-yard line. Smith drops back and makes a reckless throw to tight end Sean McGrath as Bruce Carter is driving on the route. Carter once again is in perfect position with both hands on the ball and nothing but green grass ahead of him, but he drops the ball. If Carter makes that play, he puts his team up 17-7 and with the offense getting the ball to start the second half.
As outstanding as Dez Bryant was against the Chiefs, there will be a play in the fourth quarter that will be on his mind during the flight home. With the offense backed up and facing a second-and-10 from its own 21, Romo appeared to signal to Bryant for an adjustment on his route, going one-on-one against Brandon Flowers. At the snap, Romo takes the ball in the pocket, and launches a beautiful floating pass in the direction of Bryant, who has separation on Flowers. The ball cannot be thrown in any more of a perfect spot for Bryant, but he loses focus and the ball falls away. Two plays later, the Cowboys have to punt. If Bryant catches that pass, he has a chance to take it all the way – another missed opportunity.
We knew it could potentially come down to one or two plays that could make a difference in the final outcome. The Chiefs were able to force turnovers and the Cowboys were not. The Chiefs made some key plays down the stretch running the ball to kill the game and the Cowboys did not. Teams that find ways to make plays on a weekly bases, find ways to win. In Kansas City, the Cowboys learned that lesson the hard way