Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wrap-up: Cowboys 26, Chiefs 20 (OT)
By Dan Graziano
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
The Kansas City Chiefs pushed the Cowboys to the brink, but they lost the game because they couldn't contain wide receiver Miles Austin of Monmouth University fame. Making his first NFL start, Austin showed everyone why owner Jerry Jones spent the past offseason praising him at every turn.
Without running back Felix Jones (knee) in the lineup, the Cowboys have been in desperate need of a playmaker. On Sunday, Austin responded with 10 catches for 250 yards, eclipsing the single-game record that Bob Hayes had held since 1966. The win puts the Cowboys at 3-2 heading into the bye week.
But for the better part of the game, the Chiefs played the role of the hungry team. We'll never know what may have happened had the Cowboys lost at Arrowhead on Sunday. Jones had said last week that coach Wade Phillips' job was safe, but you never know what can happen in the aftermath of a crippling loss.
Instead, the Cowboys celebrated a win -- and it's one they won't apologize for. You can no longer style-point Cowboys victories. They'll take them any way they can get them. Running back Tashard Choice came up big on a drive that allowed the Cowboys to close the gap to 13-10. It was his 36-yard touchdown run that seemed to finally bring the Cowboys' offense to life.
From that point on, it was the Tony Romo-to-Austin show. It was only a week ago that Romo was intercepted when he tried to throw a pass to Austin in Broncos territory. It's been widely debated in Dallas whose fault it was, but it didn't matter Sunday. Austin used his speed and power to overwhelm the Chiefs defense.
And the Chiefs fell to 0-5. It was a bitter defeat for first-year coach Todd Haley, who has an intimate knowledge of the Cowboys' personnel from his time in Dallas. He's not the type of coach who will take pride in coming close.
Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware collected his first two sacks of the season and finished with six tackles. Inside linebacker Keith Brooking had 11 tackles, including a sack. The Cowboys are still a team in search of an identity, but on Sunday afternoon they found a hero.
His name is Miles Austin -- and they're going to have a tough time keeping him off the field. Here's a postgame story from ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon.