TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys
Chicago Bears
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Josh McCown. (credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Josh McCown. (credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Tony Romo played a key role in leading the Cowboys to back-to-back wins over the Giants and the Raiders. If those victories are going to mean anything, they are going to have to hold off the Philadelphia Eagles and win the NFC East. Romo is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league, but he struggles to win important games.
The Bears have performed fairly well on offense with Josh McCown at quarterback, but they would be much better with Jay Cutler under center. There’s a chance that Cutler will be back at quarterback for this game, but he will have to demonstrate in practice that his sprained ankle and groin problems are behind him. Cutler’s return would give the Bears a spark.
Offense
Winner The Cowboys have gotten decent production from DeMarco Murray, who has rushed for 697 yards and 4.9 yards per carry. While he may not be the toughest running back, he should be able to take advantage of the Bears’ 32nd-ranked run defense. Dez Bryant has the speed and athleticism to dominate this game while tight end Jason Witten will catch nearly every pass he can reach.
Winner The Bears are dependent on Matt Forte to take the pressure off of Cutler, McCown and the beleaguered defense. If Forte can run the ball well, he can keep the Chicago defense off the field. Brandon Marshall has the length and reach to make the most difficult catches, while Alshon Jeffery may be the best No. 2 receiver in the league. Martellus Bennett is a solid red-zone weapon.
Defense
Winner The Cowboys have the 31st-ranked defense in the league and that unit’s inability to come up with big stops has put overwhelming pressure on Romo and the offense. Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher has been solid with 9.0 sacks, while DeMarcus Ware is likely to be a major factor. Middle linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) could be back for this game. He has 93 tackles and four interceptions.
Winner The Bears’ identity as a nasty, aggressive and hard-hitting defensive team has fallen apart. They rank 27th overall and they are abysmal against the run. That won’t change until linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) returns. Even though he has not played since Week Seven, Briggs is still third on the Bears in tackles with 64 stops. Defensive end Julius Peppers has 6.5 sacks and has batted down four passes.
Special Teams
Winner The Cowboys have done a consistent job covering kickoffs and punts, and they have gotten a boost from Dwayne Harris, who has brought a punt back for a score. Placekicker Dan Bailey has made 19-of-21 FG attempts, including 4-of-5 from 50 yards and beyond.
The Bears have suffered a downturn in their special teams coverage units this season. Devin Hester has regained his form as one of the better punt and kickoff returners in the league. Robbie Gould missed a game-winning FG attempt in overtime in Week 13, but he is one of the game’s best placekickers.

The Winner Is

(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Winner Dallas Cowboys
3 out of 4

Based on the play of both teams’ defenses, this could be a high-scoring, back-and-forth game. The Cowboys have much more momentum, but the Bears should be angry after dropping back-to-back games to St. Louis and Minnesota.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  2. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

    The Packers look to avenge a loss to the Cowboys in the regular season.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Chicago

News Via Email
Podcast Network
Free Weather App!

Listen Live