COMMENTARY | The Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs enter Sunday's matchup having opened the season in Week 1 with as divergent of victories as possible. While each team will offer a unique challenge compared to the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars, respectively, the expectation is that this game will be very competitive.
The Cowboys exchanged jabs with the Giants throughout last week's contest, eventually coming out on top by the final count of 36-31. The offense was efficient and the defense was able to force six turnovers, raising questions as to why the game was played so closely on the scoreboard.
Dallas can't expect the Chiefs to be so lax with the football, especially in front of a pumped up Kansas City crowd.
The Chiefs, however, are coming off a complete team effort during their 28-2 victory over the Jaguars. But Dallas is a much better team in all aspects of the game than Jacksonville, so Kansas City will have its work cut out if the team wants to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2010.
Here are a few things to follow during Sunday's contest.
When: Sunday, September 15 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO
Matchups to Watch: Cowboys offensive line vs. Chiefs defensive front and Dwayne Bowe vs. Brandon Carr
Players to Keep an Eye On: Dez Bryant and Dontari Poe
Cowboys Bold Prediction: DeMarco Murray Scores on 50-Plus Yard Touchdown
Often injured throughout his career, DeMarco Murray has proven to be a dynamic running back when healthy -- evidenced by a career average of 4.8 yards per carry and a 91-yard touchdown run in a game against the St. Louis Rams during his rookie season back in 2011.
Murray has also proven to be a capable receiver out of the backfield, including eight snags for 39 yards in last week's victory over the Giants.
Kansas City's defense will be aggressive on Sunday, creating a vulnerability to the big play -- especially for Murray, who has the ability to create distance once he hits the second level.
Chiefs Bold Prediction: Kansas City Matches Week 1 Total with another Six Sacks on Romo
The Chiefs will be aggressive on defense and could give up a few big plays against a talented Cowboys offense. Disrupting Tony Romo's timing and pocket is top priority, however, so look for Kansas City to stop at nothing in accomplishing this goal.
Dallas only yielded two sacks against a Giants defense known for pressuring the quarterback, but the Chiefs are a far cry from their 2012 version that only produced 27 sacks of their own -- a total good for third-worst in the NFL.
Kansas City's pass rush is not only limited to Justin Houston and Tamba Hali anymore (19 of the 27 sacks last season), as Dontari Poe, Tyson Jackson and an aggressive scheme should help this defense emerge as one of the league's best at getting to the opposing quarterback.
Fantasy Beast: Jason Witten
Aggression on defense yields the big play, but it will also allow Romo to find his safety blanket more often as plays break down.
Tight end Jason Witten is coming off an eight-catch, 70-yard, two-touchdown performance in last week's win over the Giants, and could be even more effective against a Kansas City defense that will rely on man coverage when heavily pressuring Romo -- which will happen often on Sunday.
Fantasy Bust: Dwayne Bowe
Dwayne Bowe tied for the team lead in targets (six) and receptions (four) in last week's win, but only produced 30 yards and was not able to find the endzone. Chalk the lackluster stats up to game situation, however, as the Chiefs got out to an early and did not have to lean on its heavy-lifters to carry the team to victory.
While Alex Smith will spread the ball around to different receivers, it is obvious that Bowe is still the biggest threat in Kansas City's passing offense. With only him and Jamaal Charles to worry about -- that is until someone else beats them -- Dallas should be in position to keep the wide receiver relatively quiet all game long.
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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