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Monday, September 16, 2013
Upon Further Review: Cowboys Week 2

By Todd Archer

A review of four hot issues from the Dallas Cowboys' 17-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday:

Field-position game: The Cowboys had 12 possessions Sunday, and five of them started at their 16-yard line or worse. That’s not a recipe for success.

The Cowboys gained 63 yards on 19 plays and had to punt on four of those drives. The clock ran out on them on the final drive that started at their 4 to close the game.

“This game, in a lot of ways, came down to field position,” quarterback Tony Romo said. “It’s tough to go 80, 90 yards, 95 yards consistently against that defense in that environment. It’s going to wear on you. Once again, no one cares. We still got to get the job done and find a way to do it. But you’ve got to find chunk plays and really got to kind of get to stuff that can help you on it. We’ve got to do a better job.”

Dallas' Miles Austin
The Kansas City Chiefs limited Cowboys receiver Miles Austin to three catches for 31 yards.
Where was Austin? The last time Miles Austin played at Arrowhead Stadium he left with 10 catches for a Cowboys-record 250 yards and two touchdowns, including the overtime game winner, in 2009. He caught only three passes for 31 yards Sunday, and the Chiefs did not have veteran Dunta Robinson available. With so much attention paid to Dez Bryant, Austin -- and Jason Witten, for that matter -- had to become a larger part of the offense, but Romo could not find either of them because of the Chiefs’ pass rush.

A mobile quarterback: As far as final numbers go, the Cowboys did a good job on Jamaal Charles, holding him to 55 yards on 16 carries. But Alex Smith was another story. The Chiefs quarterback ran for a career-high 57 yards on eight carries, with 49 coming in the first half. There is already some worry how the Cowboys will handle the read-option by Washington’s Robert Griffin III and Philadelphia’s Michael Vick (and possibly Oakland’s Terrelle Pryor, if he’s still starting on Thanksgiving), and the job on Smith did not ease any fears.

Big-leg Bailey: In the first two seasons of his career, Dan Bailey struggled on field goal attempts from 50 yards or more -- like all kickers -- making only five of nine tries. On Sunday, he nailed kicks from 51 and 53 yards, giving him two 50-plus yarders in the same game for the first time in his career. With so many games determined by a kicker, the Cowboys know Bailey will answer the call more often than not. Bailey also made a 30-yarder, giving him 12 games in three seasons with at least three field goals.