COMMENTARY | Coming off a 36-31 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys will enter their Week 2 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs with a couple notable injuries on the offensive side of the ball.
Both Tony Romo (bruised ribs) and Dez Bryant (left foot sprain) are expected to play, but neither is 100 percent healthy and it could show as the game progresses. The Chiefs, however, must not let the injuries affect their game plan -- especially with Bryant, who has emerged as one of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL.
Bryant battled through inconsistencies his first two years in the league, but confirmed the hype surrounding his talent last season by hauling in 92 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns -- including 50 catches for 879 yards and 10 scores over his final eight games.
While Bryant's 2013 campaign is off to a sluggish start -- four receptions for just 22 yards against the Giants -- the wide receiver is capable of a big game every time he steps on the field. And with Romo throwing the ball, along with an offense that also includes tight end Jason Witten, running back DeMarco Murray and fellow wideout Miles Austin, a mild ankle sprain is not an excuse for Kansas City to take the fourth-year pass-catcher lightly.
The Chiefs drew the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars to open the season, emerging victorious by a score of 28-2. While the path to the result was a bit surprising to most, Kansas City was expected to win after an offseason that saw key changes to the front office, coaching staff, quarterback and its pass defense personnel (namely cornerbacks Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson) -- something that will come in handy against Dallas.
While the Cowboys have not quite matched the hype tied to their talent in recent years themselves, Sunday's game will come with a much different challenge, even with being a home game for Kansas City. As wide open as the Dallas offense is, the Chiefs defense must cast a huge net when trying to stop Romo and Co.
Regardless of how serious Bryant's injury is, Kansas City must not let him lull its defense to sleep at any point during the game on Sunday.
If the Chiefs defense fails to spread its attention evenly, either Bryant will take advantage or the Cowboys will lean on someone to do so -- evidenced by Austin's coming out party against the Chiefs in 2009 (also at Arrowhead Stadium) when he caught 10 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns.
Allowing Bryant to have a big game will prove costly to Kansas City's plans of starting the season 2-0 for the first time since 2010.
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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