Chicago 45, Dallas 28: Looking Nothing Like a Playoff Team

The Dallas Cowboys somehow still control their playoff destiny. If they win their remaining three games, they will win the NFC East.

If the Cowboys look anything like they did against the Chicago Bears, the team will not win another game.

The team brought the worst defense in franchise history—and one of the worst in NFL history—to Soldier Field to let the Bears do whatever they wanted.

Josh McCown threw for 348 yards and 4 touchdowns with a passer rating of 141.9. The Cowboys could not stop Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffrey. Matt Forte ran at will in the second half.

What was a 14-14 game with less than two minutes left in the first half quickly turned into a 24-14 Chicago lead at halftime. Although the Chicago touchdown was the result of a great individual play by Jeffrey in the corner of the end zone, the Cowboys had allowed the Bears to get into position to throw the touchdown late in the first half.

The Dallas defense had no clue how to stop the Bears in the second half, and eventually the Cowboys stopped trying.

The Cowboys gave up 498 total yards of offense and did not force a single punt. In fact, the only time the Bears left the field without scoring was because Chicago chose to kneel down to end the game.

Friends, this graphic shows just how bad this defense is:

Snapshot_1

Four teams had gained more than 500 yards against Dallas, and Chicago nearly became the fifth. The Bears became the third team to score at least 40 against Dallas this year.

Tony Romo threw for three touchdowns, including two in the first half. However, he was largely ineffective. The leading pass receiver for most of the game was tight end Gavin Escobar and his one reception for 25 yards (until he made another one late in the game).

DeMarco Murray ran well, but many of his yards also came during the first half and were rendered meaningless by the third quarter.

Dallas is now 7-6, while Philadelphia is 8-5. Unless the Eagles lose to either the Bears or Vikings, the Cowboys will have to beat the Packers and Redskins, setting up a season finale for all the marbles.

Sounds good, except the Cowboys will enter that game with this disgraceful unit called a defense. Not much room for optimism tonight.

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The last time the Cowboys allowed three opponents to score 40 or more points in a single season was 1960. That was, of course, an 0-11-1 season and the first in franchise history.

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Kyle Orton attempted his first  pass of the season. The last time he played was in 2012 against Chicago in another loss.

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Joseph Randle and Cole Beasley both scored against the Bears. It was the second touchdown for both players, as Beasley had scored against the Broncos while Randle had scored against the Redskins.

 

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Cowboys Need to Hold Serve on Monday

For more than half of Sunday’s game between Philadelphia and Detroit, it appeared that the Lions and the weather were working in the Cowboys’ favor. With the Cowboys and Eagles tied in the standings at 7-5, a Detroit win would have given Dallas a big boost. With Detroit leading, I stupidly wrote this:

That did not last long. The Eagles erased a 14-0 second-half deficit and ran away with the game, beating the Lions 34-20. Philadelphia has games against the Vikings and Bears. Dallas needs to remain within at least a game of the Eagles to set up a season-ending matchup at AT&T Stadium for the NFC East crown. The Cowboys play the Packers and Redskins in the next two weeks following the game Monday night against the Bears. The Cowboys could also benefit from their division record. Dallas has a 4-0 record in the division, compared with Philadelphia’s 3-2 mark.

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It’s looking as if Mike Shanahan may not be the Redskins’ coach when Dallas travels to Washington on December 22. According to some reports indicate that Dan Snyder may fire Shanahan before the of the season. Dallas may still be a must-win situation on December 22. Not sure whether the firing would be good or bad for the Cowboys. I know, however, that the Cowboys did not make a mistake by not pursuing Shanahan in 2010.

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The Cowboys have played 78 games on Mondays. Most of those were on Monday Night Football. The team’s overall record on Mondays is 44-34. Dallas has faced Chicago twice on Mondays. Both were losses (34-18 in 2012 and 22-6 in 1996).

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