After an embarrassing 33-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and losing 3 of the last 5 games, the Dallas Cowboys now must turn their focus to the struggling Chicago Bears in now what is undoubtedly a must win game.
Even though it is now December, and the Cowboys’ December failures are well documented, there is reason to believe this team can put away those late season demons, starting with the 5-7 Chicago Bears.
DeMarco Murray is having the best season of not only his career, but of any back this season, and you can credit both the offensive line and Murray for his success. This week the Cowboys now face a respectful Chicago Bears run defense ranked 11th defending the run.
The Bears are only allowing 105.5 yards a game, but look for the offensive line to bounce back in a big way after under-performing against the Eagles on Thanksgiving day.
While the Bears’ run defense may be solid, they also come into this game with the 30th ranked pass defense – giving up 270.7 yards through air.
Opposing quarterbacks are completing 65% of their passes with a 101.1 rating. The defense also gave up 49 plays of 20 yards or more; only the Eagles have been worse. While it is a good bet that Romo will be back to his normal play, look for Terrance Williams to make the big plays he so consistently made the first 7 games of the season. Also look for Jason Witten to have a bounce-back game after registering only 1 pass against the Eagles.
With how poorly the Bears’ pass defense has been, I believe this Cowboys offense will have a big game.
Jay Cutler and the Bears offense came into the season with expectations of being one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. So far they have been everything but explosive, which is surprising considering the weapons they have with Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery.
This offense is only scoring 21.1 points and 340.1 yards per game. The Bears are also converting 41.9% on 3rd down, have turned the ball over 23 times and gave up 30 sacks and 56 quarterback hits. If there was any game for this defense to regain its “edge” or the confidence it had, this one is it.
So look to see if this defense can bounce back after struggling the last two weeks, specifically on 3rd down.
Not only is this game vs Chicago important, so are the remaining 4 games. If the Cowboys want to lift the December monkey off of their backs and make the playoffs, they must treat every game as if it is win or go home.