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)
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.
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.
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


  1. Mike Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Philip Rivers  of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At San Diego Chargers

    The high-powered Pittsburgh offense was a bit out of sync against the Ravens in Week Four without Ben Roethlisberger, but it seemed like Mike Vick was pretty close to finding success.

  2. Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: San Francisco 49ers At New York Giants

    Colin Kaepernick is under extreme pressure to produce at a high level. That has not been happening, and the 49ers are in danger of seeing their season fall apart.

  3. Peyton Manning (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 30: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the St. Louis Rams in the second quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on November 30, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Raiders 52-0.
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Oakland Raiders

    Peyton Manning appears to have come to terms with the deficiencies in his game at this point. He can no longer whistle the ball downfield at the last minute, and some medium-range passes are difficult as well.

See All Tales of the Tape