After the Dallas Cowboys‘ 36-31 win over the New York Giants in Week 1, opinions about Dallas’ performance during the game were split based off one contradictory stat: the Cowboys forced six turnovers and produced 24 points to show for it. At first glance, it looks great, but when you consider the final score and Dallas’ first-half offensive woes, it’s definitely a cause for concern heading into Week 2.
The Cowboys were given an early Christmas present with two Eli Manning interceptions and a David Wilson fumble in the first quarter, but only managed to score three measly points off those three turnovers. Fortunately, Dallas got a fumble and an interception returned for scores in the second half to stay just enough ahead of New York to secure the victory. But with so many missed opportunities, it’s hard for realistic Cowboys fans to enjoy the win.
With six turnovers, Dallas should have beaten New York by at least 20 points. The first play of the game was an interception by DeMarcus Ware that gave the Cowboys the ball at the Giants’ 15 and all they could muster was a field goal. Put simply, that won’t cut it down the road. That’s not to say the Kansas City Chiefs are going to put up a tougher fight than the Giants did, but Dallas is unlikely to get six turnovers again to ensure an ugly win.
One main point that many are quick to point out is Dez Bryant only catching four passes in the game, none of which went for touchdowns. Bryant was targeted eight times, which is far less than one would think considering Tony Romo threw the ball 49 times, but he saw tons of defensive attention and he can expect more of the same against the Chiefs and every team he faces for the rest of the year. The hard truth is Bryant and Romo are going to have to find a way around that like every other great quarterback-receiver combo.
That’s especially critical in the red zone, which has been the Cowboys’ Achilles heel on offense throughout the entire Romo era. The magnitude of that is heightened even further when Dallas gets a turnover and the team absolutely has to come away with points each time and a touchdown if it’s inside the opponent’s 25-yard line.
No one has any idea what the Chiefs are capable of. They put up 28 points against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Big whoop. How will they do against a team like Dallas? How will the Cowboys do against a mysterious, revamped AFC team they only see every four years? No one will know until Sunday rolls around, but one thing is for sure: the Cowboys won’t win this game (or any other, for that matter) if they can’t capitalize on golden opportunities to put points on the board.