The Kansas City Chiefs had the league’s leading rusher going into Sunday’s game and the Dallas Cowboys’ defense held Kareem Hunt to a season-low 37 yards.
The Chiefs boasted a quarterback who had yet to be intercepted and the Cowboys ended that streak when Jeff Heath picked off Alex Smith in the fourth quarter.
For all that went right, though, the play that continues to generate plenty of buzz is what’s being dubbed as the “Hill Mary,” Tyreek Hill’s 56-yard score just before halftime.
Coach Jason Garrett addressed what his team should have done to prevent such a big-time play in a game between two playoff-caliber teams.
“We’ve just got to go attack that play once it’s thrown underneath,” Garrett said. “You have to come off of playing the Hail Mary and attack the play when it comes at you. They had two blockers ahead of the runner and we have to go attack those guys, get off the blocks and just go defend it.”
With 2 seconds left before halftime and the Chiefs on their own 44, Smith and the Chiefs didn’t try a Hail Mary. Instead, they had a play designed to the speedy Hill, who caught it at the Dallas 42 with lead blockers in front of him.
Hill had an open field down to the Cowboys’ 22, and then maneuvered his way around six defensive backs into the end zone.
It left plenty of fans and players scratching their heads. Owner Jerry Jones missed the play live because he was “eating my hot dog.”
That might’ve been a good thing.
“He had a running head start and he’s a great player,” safety Byron Jones said. “The guy just made a big-time play.”
Tyron Smith expressed optimism about not missing any time because of injury after sitting out the Cowboys’ final offensive series on Sunday.
Smith, the All-Pro left tackle, didn’t play the final six snaps for what was deemed “precautionary” reasons and said he expected to be ready against the Atlanta Falcons.
But Smith’s status remains up in the air as he is dealing with a groin strain, Garrett said.
“We’ll just see how he proceeds,” Garrett said. “How he feels when he comes in tomorrow and how to proceed during the week.”
If Smith isn’t able to go, swing tackle Chaz Green would be his likely replacement. Green filled in for Smith at left tackle for two games early last season when Smith dealt with a back injury.
Veteran Byron Bell is another option.
Smith has started every game this season, although he has missed practice time to monitor lingering back and hip issues.
Smith was flagged for holding in Sunday’s game, and has already matched his career-high in holds with four at the midway point.
In other injury news, the Cowboys are taking a day-to-day approach with wide receivers Dez Bryant (ankle/ knee) and Terrance Williams (ankle).
Bryant said he felt OK after the game, and Garrett said the organization doesn’t view the knee injury as “anything significant.”
Price to IR
The Cowboys are placing defensive tackle Brian Price on injured reserve, coach Jason Garrett said.
Price injured his knee in Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and will undergo surgery on Tuesday.
Price served as a backup nose tackle, averaging 15-20 snaps a game.
Garrett said the Cowboys don’t know how they’ll address Price’s roster spot at this point. They could look internally and promote Lewis Neal from the practice squad, or find a better option externally.
The Cowboys acquired Price off waivers from the Green Bay Packers following final cuts before the regular-season. The Texas-San Antonio product was credited with seven tackles and three quarterback pressures in the first seven games.