Chris Jones' dominance affected the entire Chiefs/Cowboys game
Looking at every snap of the superstar defensive lineman, who was even better than you think against Dallas.
Chris Jones has had an interesting season for the Chiefs. He started off the year playing tons of snaps at defensive end, a move that’s been largely panned (for some really good reasons and some that are not as accurate).
Jones had a hot start to the year against the Browns in which he was one of the primary factors that closed out the Week 1 win (with a pair of sacks from the edge, funnily enough). Then, in Week 2, he was exposed as out of position against extensive read option looks when the Ravens attacked that area repeatedly (the coaching staff did him zero favors that game by asking him to play read option similarly to more athletic DE’s, but I digress). That was all it took for most people to be done with the defensive end experiment, and the calls for Jones to be moved back to 3-tech only got louder as the year went along and the Chiefs’ defense started off at a putrid rate.
It makes sense that fans wanted Jones back at 3-tech full time (or at least the majority of the snaps), given his dominance from that position. However, for purposes of information, it’s worth noting that Jones was already playing plenty of snaps inside as early as Week 4, and the issues the Chiefs were having on defense were much more related to bad coverage and other defenders failing to be part of a complementary pass rush than they were due to Jones being bad.
That said, Jones over the last 3 weeks has been moved almost full-time to defensive tackle on obvious passing downs (though he’s still taking some snaps at DE, which is perfectly fine). That’s been aided by the arrival of Melvin Ingram in part, but was also an obvious move that pays dividends we’ll discuss today.
Because goodness, Jones just DOMINATED the Cowboys.
This snap is a fun example of a few things we’ll be talking about after reviewing every snap by Jones vs Dallas. First, it’s interesting to note that even though he’s lined up inside of the edge, he’s still at a 5-tech spot (right across from the tackle). It’s a good example of the fact that as much as fans are happy to see Jones back at 3-tech more often, he’s still moving around on the line a great deal. This isn’t a bad thing inherently, as it allows the Chiefs to exploit mismatches (like that poor soul at RT vs Jones) and keep offenses guessing. It’s just important that they allow him to do what he does best.
Another thing this snap exemplifies is that skillset that makes Jones such a handful to deal with at any spot. He’s quick enough to gain an advantage with a slight feint inside and then bursting outside, and his strength (upper and lower body) makes him impossible to stop the moment he gets the smallest advantage.
The Cowboys are an interesting matchup for Jones because they feature one of the very best offensive linemen in the league in Zach Martin at right guard. And so, I went back and charted every snap to see how Jones did not just on the plays you noticed, but the plays you didn’t (charting pass rush wins/losses, run defense wins/losses, neutral plays, pressures/hits/sacks, effective double teams, and run stuffs).
And let me just tell you… Jones dominated that game even more than you probably realized watching in real time. Let’s look at the numbers and then talk some tape.