Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At Dallas Cowboys
- QuarterbackThe Bears are off to a miserable start, and after getting manhandled by the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field, this team is going to struggle to stay in games all season. Quarterback Jay Cutler lost a fumble and threw a key third quarter interception before leaving the game with a hand injury. Backup Brian Hoyer has his work cut out for him behind a struggling offensive line.Dak Prescott helped the Cowboys even their record at 1-1, and he may enjoy going up against a Chicago defense that has several injuries and also struggles to make key stops. Prescott is an excellent athlete and he can use his running ability to get out of trouble, and he is also an accurate passer with an excellent sense of timing.
- OffenseThe Bears let veteran running back Matt Forte sign with the Jets as a free agent, and they may be regretting that move already. Jeremy Langford has not been able to break tackles and he looks like he might be better off as a backup. Alshon Jeffery is a big-play wideout who can win the one-on-one battles downfield, while Eddie Royal has explosive speed.The Cowboys drafted Ezekiel Elliott in the first round, and he appears to be warming to the task of being the team’s No. 1 running back. Elliott ran for 83 yards and a touchdown in the Week Two victory over the Redskins, and he should only get better from here. Dez Bryant is a game-changing receiver who is very difficult to bring down after the catch. Jason Witten is still an excellent third-down weapon.
- DefenseThe Bears have a couple of big-time hitters in former Colt Jerrell Freeman and ex-Bronco Danny Trevathan. However, those two have not been able to raise the level of the defense in the first two weeks of the season. The Bears’ pass defense looks a bit overwhelmed and that unit is not getting much help from the pass rush.The Cowboys play an attacking style of defense under defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, and since the Bears have had huge problems protecting their quarterback early in the season, the Cowboys will get after Cutler or Hoyer. Sean Lee had a team-leading 10 tackles in the win over the Redskins, and he excels at diagnosing the play and getting to the ball carrier.
- Special TeamsThe Bears got rid of former placekicker Robbie Gould just before the start of the season and Connor Barth has taken the PK job. He missed a short FG attempt in his first game at Soldier Field. Royal returned a punt 65 yards for a score against the Eagles and he has explosive speed.The Cowboys do a decent job in punt and kickoff coverage, but they don’t appear to have the weapons to make big plays in the return game. Dan Bailey is a very accurate placekicker while Chris Jones has a strong leg and is a fine directional punter.
The Cowboys should be able to win this game at home because the Bears are loaded with weaknesses. This could be a game where Prescott puts big numbers on the board and becomes a much more confident NFL player.