The Kansas City Chiefs lean on the defense to stop Prescott, the Cowboys in a 19-9 victory

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs had played so terribly in defense earlier this season that the Dallas Cowboys and their top-ranked offense probably felt confident they could keep things running Sunday night.

Chris Jones and the rest of the Chiefs issued an emphatic statement to the contrary.

Jones piled up 3 1/2 sacks while forcing a fumble and recovering one, and Charvarius Ward and L’Jarius Sneed selected Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott at crucial points in the game, helping the AFC West-leading Chiefs roll to a 19- 9 victory over the Cowboys inside the noticeably breathtaking Arrowhead Stadium.

“We had a couple of tough weeks. We had a lot of guys injured. It did not click,” Jones admitted, “but when you take everything into account, we were still able to compete. And to have everyone back and build that chemistry, I think that’s a big part of our success right now. ”

The defense helped save Patrick Mahomes, who had 260 yards pass with an interception and a fumble. Clyde Edwards-Helaire added 63 yards rushing and a touchdown to the Chiefs (7-4) in his return from injured reserve.

“All this season there have been a lot of ups and downs for everyone,” said Mahomes, whose team nonetheless has 4-0 against NFC East and rides a four-game winning streak into their farewell. “We have had matches where we put a lot of points and played well, and matches we have not and we have still found a way to win.”

Prescott was held to 216 yards passing and two interceptions for the Cowboys, though he lacked a whole lot of help.

Left tackle Tyron Smith missed his third game in a row with an ankle injury. Amari Cooper tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb suffered a concussion just before the break. And returning Ezekiel Elliott seemed to adjust his ankle early, even as he finished the game with nine carries in 32 yards.

“We had 48 healthy players ready to play,” Cowboy coach Mike McCarthy said. “We had a number of guys who could not play in the game. It’s the NFL. It’s the course of a season.”

Micah Parsons was the biggest bright spot for the Cowboys (7-3), forcing a fumble and getting two more sacks as the NFL’s highest scoring offense was held to 5 out of 15 on third down and 276 yards in total.

“I’m never discouraged, but angry, yes, for sure,” Prescott said. “Especially when you have an opportunity to get out and play against a team that has been in the Super Bowl for the last two years and we had a chance to show what we are capable of. But this is a robust teams that will continue to fight and get better, I can tell you that. “

The Chiefs did exactly the same after the tough first seven weeks, leaving them 3-4 and last in the AFC West. They have eliminated many of the turnovers and penalties that hampered their attacks, and a defense that was historically incompetent in September and October has turned into a fierce, ball-hawking bunch in November.

Just ask Prescott, who spent a good portion of Sunday escaping from it.

Mahomes followed up on a 406-yard, five-touchdown performance against the Raiders by cutting the Cowboys into dice in the first half. He led Kansas City on an 86-yard march that ended with Travis Kelce taking a direct snap for a touchdown, then leading a 65-yard drive a few minutes later that ended with Edwards-Helaire’s short TD race.

The only thing the Cowboys managed was Greg Zuerlein’s field goal and they were 16-3 behind at the break.

Zuerlein hit two more in the second half and Harrison Butker added another field goal for Kansas City as the teams traded stupid mistakes that kept them from reaching than zone. Mahomes got a pass that jumped out of Kelce’s hands for another interception and the Cowboys had a promising drive that went wrong after a foul start penalty.

The Chiefs made sure the Cowboys never came within one possession the rest of the way.

“Every week is a big challenge and I’m talking about wins and losses, these ups and downs – teams are favored and they are beaten. It’s crazy,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid. persevere and take every fight as it comes. We have not proven anything yet. One can talk about it all after the season; find an island and tell everyone about it. But right now, not so much. “

Outbursts of rage

The teams almost came into play late in the first half when the Cowboys’ Kelvin Joseph ripped the helmet off Rashad Fenton, who again began mocking the Dallas sideline. Both players were marked to equalize penalties.

Injuries

Cowboys: Lamb was injured by going up after a bouncy ball in the goal zone near the end of the first half. Ward picked it off and Lamb landed hard. He was helped by coaches to the locker room and did not return. … FS Donovan Wilson left with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter.

Chiefs: Chiefs FS Tyrann Mathieu was added to the injury list as questionable about three hours before kickoff. But after working with coach Rick Burkholder before the game, the triple All-Pro declared itself ready to go. … RB Jerick McKinnon hurt his buttocks in the first quarter. … Fenton hurt his right knee in the fourth quarter.

Next

The Cowboys return home to play against the Raiders on Thanksgiving Day.

The Chiefs get a week off before playing the Broncos on Dec. 5.

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