A Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader performs during the first quarter of an NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
The Opponent: The Kansas City Chiefs, aka the Chefs, aka the Arthur Bryants, aka the Fightin’ Piolis
The Line: Cowboys by 8.5. Did you know the Cowboys have been favored in every game they’ve played this season? Doesn’t make sense in hindsight now, does it?
Last Game: A brutal 27-16 loss to the Giants that wasn’t anywhere near as close as the score indicated (it was 20-3 after three quarters). The Chiefs looked like a MAC team trying to hang with Eli Manning and company, barely putting up a fight as New York ran for over 150 yards and receiver Steve Smith (11-134, 2 TD’s) officially became the premiere Steve Smith in the League.
The Coach: Todd Haley. I know folks in Dallas aren’t too pleased with Wade Phillips these days. This is more than justifiable. But hey, at least Wade is nice guy who provides the occasional laugh as he jiggles down the sideline. Todd Haley is where hope goes to DIE. He’s the worst gym teacher you ever had. The Chiefs thought they needed a disciplinarian after Herman Edwards let all the kids swing from the ceiling fans in his brief tenure. But Haley represents a massive overcorrection. His mood fluctuates constantly between mad and sullen. In terms of communication skills, he makes Belichick look like Johnny Carson. If I were one of his players, I’d jack him up during special teams period “by accident”. Oh, and his goal line play calling is terrible. See? He’s just like Jason Garrett, only worse. I’m not the only person who thinks Haley is the second coming of Marty Mornhinweg. Jason Whitlock has his number as well:
I’ll admit it. I’m scared. I’m afraid Pioli and Haley are on a ridiculous power trip, have no real clue how to fix the Chiefs and are going to spend the entire season hiring and firing players like 15-year-old fantasy-football owners.
The Offense: It was only a few years ago that the Chiefs had one of the most admired o-lines in all of football. Those days are over. The Chiefs’ o-line is terrible, and watching this team try and advance the ball is about as much fun as spending five minutes with Todd Haley. Larry Johnson hasn’t moved the ball an inch. Matt Cassel was sacked five times last week. Formerly budding superstar Dwayne Bowe has been AWOL all year long. It should be easy pickings for DeMarcus Ware and company on Sunday. Then again, nothing this Cowboys team does ever turns out easy.
The Defense: This is the fifth worst defense in all of football. They’re in the bottom third of the league in both run defense and pass defense. This is a team that allowed JaMarcus Russell to drive against them for a game winning score. JAMARCUS RUSSELL! That really did happen. One day, we’ll look back on that moment and realize just how rare that kind of incompetence is.
Key Matchup: Tony Romo vs. Anything. This is a frustrating matchup because, even if the Cowboys win big, it won’t say much about whether or not the team is back on the right track. Much like Washington’s lackluster win vs. Tampa last week, beating the Chiefs isn’t some grand accomplishment on which you can turn your season around. This is an awful team. The Cowboys should beat them. The Cowboys NEED to beat them. Because if they don’t, if Tony Romo comes out and stinks up the joint as he did last week, then the Chiefs will have some distinguished company at the bottom of the NFL scrap heap.