Cowboys Vs. Chiefs: Jamaal Charles and Other Offensive Keys for Kansas City

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The Kansas City Chiefs opened the 2013 season with an efficient effort on offense in last week's 28-2 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Alex Smith found his open targets and didn't make mistakes, and Jamaal Charles was effective with his 19 touches out of the backfield.

Building an early lead gave the Chiefs an opportunity to play it safe, though they did show the structure of what they plan to do on offense this season.

The Dallas Cowboys found themselves in a shootout in Week 1 with the New York Giants, eventually coming out on top 36-31.

The Giants are a much different team than Chiefs offensively, so it is difficult to imagine Kansas City racking up 450 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air on Dallas this week -- which is exactly what Eli Manning and Co. accomplished last Sunday night.

The Chiefs will have their chances to move the ball, however, and this game could be played in a similar up-tempo style.

Here are three keys for the Chiefs offense in Sunday's matchup.

Increased Touches for Jamaal Charles

The Chiefs built an early lead against the Jaguars last week, which could have led to a huge game out of Charles. Instead, the running back fell awkwardly during a tackle, injuring his quad, and ended up missing a significant portion of the second half.

It is no secret that Charles is Kansas City's go-to weapon on offense, and this week's matchup should drive that point home even further.

The Cowboys are very talented on defense -- especially up front-- but the Chiefs should be able to exploit the second level with relative ease. Whether that means getting Charles around the edge in the running game or utilizing him as a receiver out of the backfield, Kansas City's chances of winning increase as he gets more touches.

Establish Dwayne Bowe Early in Game

Dwayne Bowe is obviously Kansas City's biggest receiving threat, but the wide receiver only tallied four catches for 30 yards in last week's victory over the Jaguars.

Some will argue that Bowe was not used enough, but his lack of production is more the result of circumstance than Smith not getting him the ball -- as the Chiefs got out to an early lead, making it unnecessary to lean on its playmakers as much to pull out the win.

Kansas City's offense may lack the big names outside of Bowe and Charles, but the goal is to find the open man regardless of the name on the back of the jersey.

Matchups like this weekend's with the Cowboys, however, could open up more opportunities for Bowe to come up big. Establishing that relationship in the passing game early will make it easier for Smith to find his other targets as the game progresses.

Win Battle in the Trenches

For the Chiefs to do what they need to do to be productive on offense, it starts and ends with the offensive line. Whether than means Charles having a good day on the ground or Smith hitting his receivers early in the progression, this unit must play well.

Kansas City controlled the trenches on both sides of the ball against the Jaguars last week, but the Cowboys are a much more talented team and also employ the likes of DeMarcus Ware -- who was relatively absent against the Giants in Week 1.

Dallas will come in to Arrowhead Stadium knowing that most of what the Chiefs plan to do on offense happens at the first level -- meaning that Ware and Co. will be ready to go to work.

Also check out three keys against Tony Romo and Cowboys offense

Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites. His work can be read on Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various podcasts and sports talk shows around the country. Interact with Jeremy on Twitter @JeremySickel

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