KANSAS CITY —
The Kansas City Chiefs are playing mistake-free football for the first time in years.
The result so far under Andy Reid has been winning football.
Alex Smith threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns, and the Chiefs defense held when it needed to in the fourth quarter for a 17-16 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
The Chiefs haven’t committed a turnover through the first two weeks, and that may be the biggest reason they’ve already matched their win total from all of last year. They’re off to a 2-0 start for just the second time since 2005.
Jamaal Charles had a touchdown run for the Chiefs, who also got impassioned play from their defense for the second straight week. They’ve allowed only one touchdown through two games after forcing the Cowboys to settle for three field goals by Dan Bailey on Sunday.
The most important stop came with 3:55 left. Tony Romo threw three straight incompletions to force Bailey to hit a 53-yarder to pull within 17-16, but the Cowboys defense couldn’t get the ball back quickly enough to have a shot at a winning drive.
Romo finished 30 of 42 for 298 yards for the Cowboys (1-1). His favorite target was former Oklahoma State product Dez Bryant, who had nine catches for 141 yards and their only touchdown (two yards, first period).
The Chiefs, coming off an uplifting win at Jacksonville, were amped for Reid’s first game as their coach at Arrowhead Stadium. A capacity crowd roared when they rolled onto the field in all-red uniforms, departing from their traditional white pants to signify the start of a new era.
They kept right on rolling, too. Kansas City marched 77 yards on the opening series, the highlight coming when Smith scrambled 17 yards on third-and-15 and executed a Fosbury Flop over a defender for a first down. Smith capped the drive with a short TD toss to Charles.
That’s when the Romo-to-Bryant connection got on track.
Bryant outwrestled cornerback Brandon Flowers for a 53-yard catch down the Dallas sideline that helped set up Bailey’s 51-yard field goal. Later in the quarter, Bryant beat Flowers for a 38-yard reception that set up his own 2-yard TD catch and gave Dallas a 10-7 lead.
The Cowboys blocked Ryan Succop’s 57-yard field-goal try to carry their lead into halftime, and then Bryant caught three more passes on the first drive of the third quarter to get Dallas in scoring position again. This time, Bailey knocked through a 30-yarder to pad the lead.
The Chiefs answered with their best drive of the game. Smith hit Donnie Avery for 31 yards to convert a third-and-10, and then hit Dwayne Bowe on a 12-yard slant through blown coverage to give Kansas City a 14-13 lead late in the third quarter.
Dallas fumbled on its next two possessions — Lance Dunbar coughed it up first and then Romo was strip-sacked by Ron Parker. But the Cowboys defense stiffened each time, first forcing a field goal and then getting a sack from Bruce Carter to push the Chiefs out of field-goal range.
The Cowboys marched deep into Chiefs territory, but again Dallas couldn’t find the end zone. By the time Romo got the ball back in his hands, there wasn’t any time left for some late-game heroics.