It's 925 miles from Dallas, full arsenal of players, a 7-5 record, it'll be dark and they'll be wearing white.
The Cowboys head into their lone Monday Night appearance of the season (8:30, ESPN) against the reeling Chicago Bears (6-6) winners of their past two games. The wins didn't come easy, but they have filled the team with confidence heading into the dreaded month of December, typically considered a death trap for Dallas.
Following their 24-21 triumph over the New York Giants after their bye week, the Cowboys enjoyed a victory in a short week, defeating the Oakland Raiders in their annual Thanksgiving tilt. While the 1st half was enough to make many Cowboys fans puke up their Turkey Day appetizers, trailing by as much as 21-7, the Cowboys scored 24 unanswered points en route to a 31-24 victory. The Cowboys broke several jinxes in their valiant Thanksgiving effort, as not only did they pull off a win in their unlucky blue jerseys (making an extremely rare showing in Texas) but Tony Romo didn't let either the Sports Illustrated cover jinx or a stomach virus affect his play. While most of the offensive load was picked up by RB's DeMarco Murray (3 rushing touchdowns) and Lance Dunbar (a career high 82 yards before suffering a season ending knee injury), Romo did his part, going 23-32 (including 12-12 in the 2nd half) for 225 and a touchdown to Dez Bryant that tied the game. CB Brandon Carr, picked on earlier in the game by the Oakland offense, sealed the game with an interception in the Dallas end zone. Following Philadelphia's snowy win over Detroit on Sunday, the Cowboys trial the Eagles by half a game in the race for the NFC East title, albeit with tonight's game in hand.
Unlike the Cowboys, the Bears were helped by the Eagles' win on Sunday. With a win tonight, the Bears would be tied with the Lions for first place in the NFC North, leaving the two of them a half game ahead of the Green Bay Packers, who the Cowboys face at AT&T Stadium next Sunday. Since their last Monday Night appearance, a 27-20 win over Green Bay on November 4, the Bear have 3 of their last 4 games. They return to Solider Field this week after a particularly rough loss to the Minnesota Vikings on the road last Sunday, allowing a 12 play, 79 yard drive at the end of regulation that culminated in K Blair Walsh's 30 yard field goal that sent it to overtime. In the extra period, Chicago's kicker Robbie Gould missed a potential game winner, leaving the honors to Walsh, who kicked a 34 yarder to win it. The Bears have one more divisional game this season in their season finale against the Packers.
The key to tonight's game for the Cowboys will be to not underestimate Chicago's lesser known weapons. After a fantastic performance last week, WR Alshon Jeffery (12 receptions, 249 yards, 2 touchdowns), has overtaken perennial All-Pro WR Brandon Marshall for Chicago's top receiver. In addition, Chicago will be missing QB Jay Cutler, who has not played since a November 10, when he aggravated an ankle injury he suffered in an October 20 loss to Washington. Despite Cutler's absence, QB Josh McCown has performed amicably in his place. The 11 year journeyman, now on his 5th NFL team, has accumulated a career high 103.6 passer rating since taking over for Cutler, despite a career rating of 75.8. Nonetheless, it's on Dallas defense to handle Chicago's breakout stars. While the defense was putrid in the 1st half of the Oakland game, allowing a trio of QB Matt McGloin, and WR's Andre Holmes and Rod Streater to get the best of them, they clamped down in the 2nd half, allowing no points until a field goal late in the 4th quarter. The Cowboys will welcome back LB Sean Lee, who sat out the New York and Oakland wins with a hamstring injury, with open arms. Lee is one of the NFL's top tacklers and currently leads the team with four interceptions.
Though matchups with the Bears are not exactly commonplace...Dallas leads the all time series 13-10, including postseason...the Cowboys have many reasons to be furiously pumped for Monday Night's tilt. Last season, the Bears came to AT&T Stadium and thoroughly humiliated them at home, using five Dallas turnovers to their advantage in a 34-18 victory. In addition, Chicago will be retiring Mike Ditka's jersey at halftime of tonight's game. While Ditka is probably best known for his Chicago connections, spending six prolific season as Chicago's tight end before spending 11 seasons as their head coach, Ditka spent four year productive year with the Cowboys, scoring a touchdown in Dallas's first Super Bowl victory over Miami in Super Bowl VI. While many may to be young to understand Ditka's Dallas ties...at this point most know him as either the head coach of Chicago's legendary 1985 team or as Will Ferrell's assistant in that kids' soccer movie...it'd be nice to see Dallas win on a night where they're honoring one of the guy who helped the team rise to prominence in the 70's. Probably most importantly, the Cowboys will face some former allies in the Windy City. While DT Jay Ratliff, who made one tackle in his Chicago debut last week, has not said anything leading into Monday's game, but the same can't be said for former special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis. Now holding the same position with the Bears, DeCamillis saying it was "more like Hollywood" in Dallas, calling Chicago "tamer" by comparison. If all that isn't enough to pump up the Cowboys to a victory, maybe they don't belong in the playoff conversation.
Prediction: Cowboys 27, Bears 21
DAL 37, PHI 10: Cowboys Correct Course by Crushing Eagles
The Dallas Cowboys will need plenty more games like this one to undo some of the damage from their recent three-game losing streak. But with a 37-10 rout of the division rival Philadelphia Eagles tonight, Dallas took a big step toward redemption and restoring order in their season.
The game got ugly in a hurry for the Eagles, who fumbled on their first two possessions and set the Cowboys up for touchdowns on each. Philadelphia would answer with a score on their next drive to make it 14-7, but it was all Dallas from there.
It was a joint effort from all parts of the Cowboys roster tonight. Ezekiel Elliott had 111 yards rushing and another 36 receiving, plus one touchdown on the ground. Dak Prescott threw for 239 yards and one score and ran for another touchdown.
Dallas' defense limited Philadelphia to just 283 total yards. DeMarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn, and Jourdan Lewis each recorded sacks while Xavier Woods had a rare interception for the Cowboys secondary.
Even special teams contributed; Brett Maher nailed a 63-yard field goal to end the first half and made his two other FG attempts as well.
The Eagles were missing several key players on both sides of the ball, giving them a bit of an excuse for how lopsided this game got. But with Dallas now getting bye week rest while Philadelphia has to stay on the road in Buffalo, is this the beginning of the end for the Eagles' season?
- Amari Cooper led the receivers tonight with 106 yards on five catches. He did not appear to be hampered by any injury despite our worries earlier in the week.
- Maher's 63-yard field goal put him in the NFL record books as the only kicker to ever hit three career FGs from 60 or more.
- Prescott's 21st career rushing touchdown broke Roger Staubach's record for most all-time rushing TDs by a Cowboys quarterback.
- Some negative injury news coming out of the game; Leighton Vander Esch (neck) and Robert Quinn (ribs) both had to leave and didn't return. No word yet on severity for either, but hopefully the bye week is all they need to recover.
- Jeff Heath was also shaken up toward the end of the game but appeared to be okay on the sideline.
- No injury setbacks for any of the Cowboys' previously concerning players. Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Tyron Smith, and La'el Collins all made it through without incident.
- Dallas now gets a long rest with the bye week and their next game not coming until Monday, Nov. 4th, against the New York Giants. While the Cowboys are healing up, the Giants will be traveling to Detroit next Sunday.
DAL 27, PHI 7: Cowboys Winning Every Phase, Build Big Halftime Lead
The Dallas Cowboys certainly heard about Doug Pederson's win guarantee, but did anyone tell Pederson's team? The Philadelphia Eagles have fumbled and flopped their way into a 24-7 halftime deficit in this pivotal Week 7 rivalry game.
Two early fumbles by Dallas Goedert and Carson Wentz helped set up the Cowboys for short fields and touchdowns. Dallas has scored points on all but one of their drives in the first half.
Ezekiel Elliott is on pace for his best game of 2019 so far. He has 65 rushing yards and another 25 through the air, with one touchdown coming on the ground.
Dak Prescott has been sharp with 161 passing yards on 15-of-20 passing. He connected with Blake Jarwin on the team's second touchdown of the night.
Dallas' other touchdown came on a pretty toss play to Tavon Austin, who used his athletic skills to juke one Eagle and then outrace the rest to the endzone.
Brett Maher finished the half with an amazing 63-yard field goal. He also made one from 26 yards earlier.
Standouts on defense so far include DeMarcus Lawrence, who is playing up to his verbal response to the Eagles' head coach earlier this week. We've also some big plays from Maliek Collins, Jourdan Lewis, and Robert Quinn.
Leighton Vander Esch had to leave the game with a neck injury and is questionable to return. Hopefully, the Cowboys won't need him.
Great start by the good guys! Let's keep it going!
Eagles @ Cowboys 2019: Gameday Inactives for Both Teams
Kickoff between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7 of the 2019 season is almost upon us. The teams have now officially declared their inactive players for tonight, and the Cowboys' list comes with many sighs of relief.
After a week of worrying that several starters and other key players could miss this pivotal game, Dallas should have most of them on hand.
Cowboys inactives: Devin Smith, Anthony Brown, Luke Gifford, Adam Redmond, Brandon Knight, Justin Hamilton, Dorance Armstrong.
Losing Anthony Brown, who is essentially a starter as the nickel corner, isn't great. But it will mean more playing time for Jourdan Lewis, and to some that could be a blessing in disguise.
As for Philadelphia, their inactive list features several key names
Ronald Darby is active for the #Eagles. Rookie Shareef Miller active for the first time. The inactives for tonight's game against the Cowboys: DeSean Jackson, Avonte Maddox, Darren Sproles, Nigel Bradham, Nate Herbig, Jason Peters, Tim Jernigan.
You can read more analysis of the Eagles' missing players here. But just to summarize, that's two offensive starters(Jackson, Peters) and three from the defense (Jernigan, Bradham, Maddox) who won't be playing in Dallas tonight.
Will these injuries decide the game? Will Dallas take advantage or will Philly overcome?
We're about to find out!
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