Sunday, September 15, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Chiefs 17, Cowboys 16
By Todd Archer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A few thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys' 17-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
What it means for the Cowboys: For the fifth straight year, the Cowboys have started the season with a 1-1 record. They missed a tremendous chance to start 2-0 for the first time since 2008 because of a series of mistakes by the offense in the second half.
On their first drive of the third quarter, they got to the Chiefs' 4-yard line, but Ronald Leary had a false start on third down and they had to settle for Dan Bailey's field goal. The Cowboys’ next two drives ended on fumbles by Lance Dunbar and Tony Romo. The fourth possession ended in a punt after Dez Bryant dropped a deep ball after getting by cornerback Brandon Flowers.
To close the game, the defense finally faltered as Morris Claiborne was flagged for pass interference on a third-down play that allowed Kansas City to hold the ball until only 16 seconds remained.
Stock watch: Dunbar, falling. Dunbar’s third-quarter fumble in Kansas City territory changed the complexion of the game. The Cowboys allowed a 40-yard field goal by Ryan Succop on the ensuing drive that gave the Chiefs a lead they would not give up.
Ware gets his: Rod Marinelli left a cigar in DeMarcus Ware’s locker after the Giants game -- as in, Ware was "close but no cigar" in his chase of Eli Manning. Ware came up with two sacks of Alex Smith on Sunday.
It is the 27th multi-sack game of Ware’s career and his first since Week 2 last year at Seattle. A third sack was wiped out by a delay-of-game penalty, and Ware appeared to hurt his shoulder on the play.
Up the charts: With a second-quarter catch for minus-2 yards, Jason Witten passed Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe on the career list of catches by a tight end (Witten now has 817).
Witten will have a long way to go before catching the leader, Tony Gonzalez, who entered Sunday’s game with 1,245 receptions.
Solid debuts: Anthony Spencer and Brian Waters made their season debuts against the Chiefs, which bodes well for a team in need of help along the offensive and defensive lines.
Spencer has practiced only twice since undergoing knee surgery on July 25, but he played well and brought pressure on Smith. Waters played two series in the first half in which the Cowboys had 10 of their 15 rushing yards in the first two quarters. He played two series in the second half, too.
What’s next: The Cowboys host St. Louis at AT&T Stadium, where they beat the New York Giants 36-31 in the season opener. Dallas has never won the first two games of a season at the $1.2 billion stadium in Arlington.