Two Super Bowl winning head coaches and two loaded offenses led by two of the NFL’s top quarterbacks meet up in Week 11 as the Dallas Cowboys (7-2) and Kansas City Chiefs (5-4) battle at Arrowhead Stadium.
It’s a shame the Cowboys and Chiefs play only once every four years, but there may not be a better week to see it again than this Sunday.
Here are five storylines for each team heading into Sunday’s matchup at Arrowhead.
- Kansas City made a big statement in front of the nation with their 41-14 win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football. The win vaults the Chiefs back to the top of a competitive AFC West and served as a warning for the rest of the league that they’re back on track. Patrick Mahomes tallied 406 yards and 5 touchdowns, most in the second half, to help Kansas City pull away from a tightly contested game in the third quarter.
- No one in the NFL could’ve seen the Chief’s slow start coming after they fell to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in February’s Super Bowl. Kansas City won their opener against the Cleveland Browns in a tight one but lost three of their next four with their only win coming over an uninspiring Philadelphia squad. However, the momentum has shifted with four wins in the last five games with the defense playing much better and the offense averaging 26.3 points per game in the wins.
- Earlier in the week, the Chiefs’ coaching staff showcased a higher sense of optimism over the potential of getting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire off the injured reserve list. The second-year man out of LSU returned to practice last week after missing time since a Week 5 MCL sprain. Before his stint on IR, Edwards-Helaire totaled 365 total yards and a pair of touchdowns as an added element for the dangerous Kansas City offense.
- Patrick Mahomes faces the Cowboys, his favorite childhood team, for the first time in his career this Sunday. Mahomes, who was born in Tyler, Texas, spent his early years cheering for Tony Romo and the Cowboys as a ‘die-hard fan’ until his time eventually came in the NFL. Before he was a Super Bowl Champion and league MVP, Mahomes starred at both the high school and collegiate ranks in the Lone Star State with Whitehouse High School and Texas Tech.
- This week is quite the opposite for head coach Andy Reid who is extremely familiar with the Cowboys organization. Sunday marks the 22nd all-time meeting between Dallas and the Super Bowl winning head coach. Reid has the all-time advantage over the Cowboys 18-13 dating all the way back to his first season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999. From 1999-2012, Reid led the Eagles before joining the Chiefs a season later and has led them to five straight AFC West titles.
- Dallas enters off their biggest win in the last 20 seasons, a 43-3 beatdown over the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday. It was the first time the Cowboys had beaten a team by over 40 points since 2000, when they defeated the Arizona Cardinals 48-7. After Atlanta kicked a field goal in the first quarter to make the score 7-3, Dallas exploded for 36-unanswered points to end the game, 29 of them coming in the second quarter alone.
- The Dallas secondary shined in the blowout win with multiple pass breakups and big hits that set the tone. In the second half, the starting trio of cornerbacks of Anthony Brown, Trevon Diggs, and Jourdan Lewis all reeled in an interception. Marking the first time the Cowboys defense has tallied three picks in a single game since 2010. Dallas now has a total of 14 interceptions this year, 13 of which belong to the same trio. Diggs is still leading the NFL with eight picks.
- The final touchdown of the game was a physical run from Dak Prescott who bounded his was in on fourth down and goal to make it 43-3. While it was an emotionally charged play that put an exclamation point on a big win, it was a nerve-wracking run from someone who has dealt with multiple recent injuries. Both Jerry and Stephen Jones expressed their concern on the run saying it was a tough play to watch, especially with the situation and score being what it was. Regardless, Prescott showed some toughness and drive with his first rushing touchdown of the year.
- Coach Mike McCarthy mentioned early in the week that there is a great shot that the offensive line gets tackle Tyron Smith back from injury this week. Smith has missed the last two and a half games with bone spurs in his ankle but was never placed on injured reserve in hopes of returning within the three-week window. During his absence, Terence Steele has occupied the left tackle slot, while La’el Collins has regained his form at right tackle. If Smith were to return, the thought is that Collins would remain on the right side while Steele will go back into the swing tackle role.
- Sunday marked the first game without Randy Gregory for at least three weeks as the star pass rusher was placed on IR with a calf strain. In his absence, Dallas had multiple young players answer the bell, including both Micah Parsons and Dorance Armstrong who each had a sack in the win. Additionally, Armstrong became the first Cowboys player to record a sack and a blocked punt in the same game.
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