The Chicago Bears are coming off a short week after defeating the New England Patriots 33-14 on Monday night in Foxborough, while the Cowboys look to roll into the bye week winning two in a row after beating the Lions 24-6 five days ago.
Everyone will have the players they keep a close eye on during the game, but here are a few that I will be focused on:
WR Michael Gallup
While the Bears' pass defense has been solid for most of the season, Michael Gallup is the first guy I'll keep an eye on. He was only targeted twice last week and was held without a catch, but it was Dak Prescott's first game back, and he knocked the rust off.
Gallup has been one of Prescott's favorite targets over the years, he is tremendous on third down, but I would love to see the Cowboys attack the secondary of the Bears early and make them focus on someone other than CeeDee Lamb.
A few early completions to Gallup could raise both confidence levels.
DE Sam Williams
While only logging 14 defensive snaps in Sunday's win over Lions, he was the highest-graded Cowboys player, according to Pro Football Focus.
The play of Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler has forced Williams to play in a rotation, but when he gets his snaps, he makes the most of them. He is a change-of-pace rusher for the Cowboy's defense; keeping him fresh allows him to play with a high motor.
Williams took a while to make that game-changing play as he did against the Lions, but the win over Detroit showed us the type of player he can be.
The Bears have one of the worst offensive lines in football, yet they lead the league in rushing because of Justin Fields. Williams and the others need to be ready if he takes off.
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 28, 2022
CB DaRon Bland
DaRon Bland is the player who gets the chance to replace Lewis this week, and I will pay close attention to his play with an expanded role. The defense finally suffered their first blow by losing Lewis, but the rookie Bland now gets his chance to sink or swim.
Bland has one start this season; in that game, he captured his first career interception. I want to see him play well and help the leaders on this defense do what they do. I am still curious how they will use him exactly, but he gets his first chance to show he can fill the shoes of Lewis.
Gallup is the only one out of the three that I have paid close attention to lately, but after doing close to nothing last week, I want to see him get rolling again.
Williams gave me a reason to be excited last week, and I can't wait to see what he does with his snaps this week.
Bland is the guy here that has the most to prove, and the rookie gets the first legitimate chance to show why he belongs.