KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Billed as the NFL's Game of the Week, the Dallas Cowboys (7-2) and Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) had the potential to be a preview of this year's Super Bowl.
For the Cowboys' sake, it's a good thing it's not.
It's not hyperbole to say this has been one of the worst starts to a Cowboys game this season and the atrocity began on the Cowboys first play from scrimmage. Quarterback Dak Prescott had a wide open Michael Gallup down field... and overthrew him.
Penalties. Drops. Overthrows. Turnovers. You name it, the Cowboys have accomplished it in the first half.
The Cowboys entered the week with the NFL's number one offense -- leading the league in both yards and points per game. But the Cowboys are missing something -- or someone -- against the Chiefs and it's been apparent from the get-go.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper was placed on the COVID-19 list this past week forcing him to miss Sunday's game at Arrowhead Stadium.
It is the first game Cooper has missed since he was traded to the Cowboys early in the 2018 season.
Without Cooper, the Cowboys offense has looked like a shell of its former self. Running lanes are closed. Receivers are not creating separation or they're blanketed in double coverage or they're dropping the ball.
Prescott has not been sharp and much of that can be blamed on a hodge-podge left side of the offensive line, which has Prescott uncomfortable in the pocket or scrambling for his life.
The Cowboys sorely miss All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith (ankle) who is out for a third straight week. Terence Steele -- who played well at right tackle early this year -- continues to struggle filling in at left tackle. Smith's return cannot come soon enough.
The Chiefs could surely reach their third straight Super Bowl.
But if the Cowboys are going to join them there, they'll need their offense at full strength. Because it sure as heck is not on Sunday.