This a must win game. You can try to justify that a loss doesn't end the season, and maybe it doesn't. But it will prove that the 2009 Dallas Cowboys just aren't good enough to compete with the best teams in the league. The Cowboys need to win and win big. Injuries are going to play a role in the game since the Cowboys are probably down at least two starters. Injuries are starting to mount but the Cowboys have still dodged any major season enders so far.
Marion Barber (quad) - will play this week and is close to 100%. Andre Gurode (knee) - practiced the last two days and it looks like he'll be ready to go. Gerald Sensabaugh (thumb) -had surgery this week and is most likely out for the game so Patrick Watkins probably starts in his spot. Felix Jones (knee) - tested his knee out this week but is doubtful for this game. Roy Williams - has not practiced all week but still could play if Wade Phillips decides to let him travel with the team, Austin will start if he is out.
Keys to winning
1. Don't let Larry Johnson get going. Larry Johnson has been a shell of his former self so far this season. The only way the Chiefs are going to win is if he gets back on track. I don't think the Cowboys will forget about him since Johnson is one of Kansas City's only offensive weapons.
2. Get the passing game rolling. It is becoming obvious that teams are respecting the passing offense of the Cowboys less and less every week. Tony Romo needs to be more accurate and make the Chiefs pay if they decide to crowd the line to stop the run. Romo missed a few opportunities for big plays last week when Denver began to overcommit to the run. Romo needs to start building some momentum and start playing like a top notch quarterback again. He'll need better protection from the offensive line to do that.
3. Don't let Kansas City hang around. How do you let a bad team beat you? You let them hang around for a while and they start to believe they can beat you. Score early and often and then continue scoring. Beat them into submission. Last week the Cowboys jumped out early and then the offense shut down. They need to play well for four quarters.
4. Make the Chiefs earn their points. This means many things. Limit turnovers. Tackle the Chief's ball carriers! Don't allow any big pass plays. And cut down on the penalties. Especially the ones that come at the worst possible times.
5. Score touchdowns in the red zone. The first two games this year were great for the offense in the red zone. The last two games they have been terrible. Jason Garrett needs to run the ball with Barber and Choice when the Cowboys get close. Let the offensive line use their size to dominate in the trenches. I'm sick of the cute, "creative" plays at crucial moments in the game. Line up and run over the Chiefs in short yardage situations. Run the ball!
We know and the Chiefs know that the Cowboys should win the game. But the Cowboys still have to go out and earn the victory. The Chiefs aren't going to mail it in at home in front of their fans. I want to see the Cowboys go into the bye week playing their first complete game of the season. They need to show they can be the team that we are still hoping they can be. This week won't convince me, but it can be the start of a winning streak.