KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Unlike the season opener, when the Giants double-teamed him the entire game, wide receiver Dez Bryant faced single coverage in Dallas' first road game Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.
Winning many of those one-on-one matchups, Bryant overall had a highly productive day. But it was the one play Bryant didn't make that stood out in the Cowboys' 17-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Matched much of the day against Brandon Flowers, Kansas City's talented, young cornerback, Bryant was in position to make another big play. Bryant, though, dropped a wide-open pass down the right sideline that would have put Dallas in Chiefs territory midway through the fourth quarter.
“I beat the guy. That's a play I've got to make,” Bryant said. “I shouldn't have (dropped) it. That was a huge mistake on my end. You can't win like that.”
Bryant's drop was representative of Dallas' offense. Bryant hauled in nine catches for 141 yards. He scored Dallas' only touchdown. But when it mattered most, quarterback Tony Romo and the Cowboys settled for field goals and were plagued by penalties and sacks.
“Their scheme provides a lot of issues. And this is a tough environment,” Romo said. “Saying all that, I thought we had a good plan. We did some things that gave us a chance to win. Ultimately, that's all that matters. No one cares about the other stuff. Four weeks from now this will still be a loss.”
Dallas scored on its first two possessions to lead 10-7 after the first quarter. The final three quarters the Cowboys settled for two Dan Bailey field goals.
Romo completed 30-of-42 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown, but after the first quarter the Cowboys crossed midfield only twice.
“The way to beat them is the way we played them when we were having success, get those receivers matched up outside,” said Dallas coach Jason Garrett. “Dez had a big ballgame. Some of the man-to-man coverage we kept winning.
“(But) they can make you look sloppy just based on their style. You have to fight through that and make the plays that really count. At times we did that today. At times we didn't do enough of that.”