Cowboys-Chiefs Instant Trivia: Another Unique Score


Some random trivia items focusing on yesterday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs:

The Dallas Cowboys have played 862 regular-season and playoff games. I have no idea what the actual odds of this happening are, but how possible is it for the Cowboys to play back-to-back games with final scores unique to any of the other 860 games?

Last week, the Cowboys beat the Giants 36-31, marking the first time the Cowboys have ever played in a game with that particular score.

Yesterday, the Cowboys lost a game with a final score of 17-16 for the first time ever. The Cowboys had previously played in one game with a score of 17-16, but that was in a win over the New York Giants on October 29, 1961.

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KC quarterback Alex Smith frustrated the Cowboys with his running yesterday, leading all rushers with 57 yards on 8 carries. Andy Reid apparently found a read-option quarterback where one did not previously exist.

Smith’s previous high rushing mark before yesterday was 49 yards against Buffalo in 2012. He has gained 30 or more yards only 7 times during his career.

Smith had faced the Cowboys only once previously in 2011. He had only 21 rushing yards for the 49ers then.

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Reid coached the Philadelphia Eagles for 14 seasons. He faced the Cowboys 29 times during that period, including the playoffs.

During that time, the Eagles had some athletic quarterbacks, including Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, and Jeff Garcia.

Also during that time, a total of 22 Eagles rushed for 57 or more yards against the Cowboys.

How many of those players were quarterbacks?

Just one. McNabb rushed for 67 yards in a 2002 game and 58 yards in a 2000 game.

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Jason Witten now ranks second on the all-time list of receptions by a tight end.

Few doubt that Witten is the greatest tight end in franchise history. Of course, he plays in a different era than the likes of Billy Joe DuPree, Doug Cosbie, and Jay Novacek, but Witten’s numbers are amazing even considering that he plays in such a pass-happy league now.

Consider this: DuPree, Cosbie, and Novacek combined to catch 906 passes for 10,869 yards. Witten’s current numbers include 817 receptions for 9,030 yards.

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During five seasons dating back to 1997, the Cowboys have won their season opener only to lose their second game of the season.

The good news? In each of those five seasons, the Cowboys have won their third game. A review:

1997: Beat Pittsburgh, lost to Arizona, beat Philadelphia.

1998: Beat Arizona, lost to Denver, beat N.Y. Giants.

2005: Beat San Diego, lost to Washington, beat San Francisco.

2009: Beat Tampa Bay, lost to N.Y. Giants, beat Carolina.

2012: Beat N.Y. Giants, lost to Seattle, beat Tampa Bay.

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Kansas City 17, Dallas 16: Uninspired Yet Again

Why have the Dallas Cowboys struggled to be better than mediocre? Why has this team gone 8-8 in back to back seasons?

Tony Romo could not guide the Cowboys to a win in the fourth quarter against the Chiefs.

Tony Romo could not guide the Cowboys to a win in the fourth quarter against the Chiefs.

Perhaps we will have even more answers later this year, as the Cowboys look very much like an 8-8 team thus far. Most good teams at some point build some momentum. Perhaps the momentum comes from a big win over a rival. Or perhaps the momentum comes from a come-from-behind win. Or perhaps the momentum comes from a blowout win.

The Cowboys got one of those three in the season opener last Sunday. Of course, saying the team has momentum suggests that the momentum carries over to the next game.

Dallas managed to pull out a big win last year at New York, only to fall flat at Seattle.

This year—like most years—was supposed to be different. The Cowboys took what momentum they had from the Giants game and took a 13-7 lead at Kansas City.

Of course, it might have been a bigger lead. Facing a 3rd-and-goal from the Kansas City 9 early in the third quarter, the Cowboys lined up in a bunch formation while lining up Dez Bryant to the left. He had one man covering him. Most 11-year-olds who don’t even watch football were yelling at Tony Romo to get the ball to Bryant.

Romo instead threw a bubble screen to Terrance Williams, who lost three yards on what was called a lateral. Dallas settled for a field goal to go up 13-7.

The defense had been tough up to that point but could not slow down the Chiefs offense on their next possession. Kansas City scored with just under three minutes remaining in the third quarter, and the Cowboys did not lead again.

On the next drive, Lance Dunbar fumbled near midfield. The Chiefs scored another field goal on their ensuing drive to increase their lead to 17-13.

The Cowboys spent the fourth quarter trying to come back. On the first drive of that quarter, Romo fumbled after being hit on a throw.

For the final 9:12 of the game, while the Cowboys were trailing, Romo only completed four passes. On back-to-back drives, the Cowboys faced 3rd-and-10 situations while needing a touchdown to take the lead. On both plays, Romo tried to hit Jason Witten on short passes that would come nowhere close to picking up first downs.

Dallas managed to cut the lead to 17-16 thanks to a 53-yard field goal by Dan Bailey with 3:50 remaining.

The Cowboys defense needed a big stop but instead gave up some big runs by Jamaal Charles. By the time Romo got the ball back, the Cowboys had the ball on their own 4 with 16 seconds left.

Bryant looked unstoppable in the first quarter, catching 5 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.

He was not great for the final three quarters. He was called for offensive pass interference in the second quarter, negating a 22-yard reception. He was active early in the third quarter, but he largely disappeared after that.

One of the worst plays of the game came with less than nine minutes left. Romo found Bryant on a long pass down the right side of the field. However, Bryant let the ball go through his hands on what would have been a long gain into Kansas City territory. Instead, the Cowboys punted two plays later.

Romo did not help matters. His passes were sailing on him for much of the second half. He was lucky the Chiefs did not intercept him in the fourth quarter—though, of course, it did not end up mattering.

As a team, the Cowboys ran the ball 16 times for 37 yards. Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith ran the ball 8 times for 57 yards. And yes, he ran the ball better than DeMarco Murray.

The defense was not horrible, but the team could not stop Chiefs when it mattered the most. Perhaps the most disappointing play occurred with 2:32 remaining. The Chiefs faced a 3rd-and-10 from the Kansas City 44. Smith attempted a pass to Donnie Avery, and the referees called pass interference on Morris Claiborne. The Chiefs were able to run more time off the clock  thanks to the play.

The Cowboys host the Rams next Sunday.

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