Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Preparing To Pound The Rock Versus Bears

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Latest Dallas Cowboys headlines: The Cowboys are excited about their new-found ability to run the ball, 15,000 pounds of gear will help keep the Cowboys warm enough in Chicago, and Tyron Smith gets a promotion of sorts.

Cowboys finding traction in running game - Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram
For only the fourth time in the last seven years, the Cowboys rushed for three touchdowns in one game last week, and the Cowboys are predictably excited about their ability to punch in the ball now that they're heading up to Chicago.

"It could be a game where you have to run it more because of the conditions," Garrett said. "But you have to throw it and find ways to throw the ball. A couple of weeks ago in New York, the conditions were similar. We had a pretty decent balance. You always want to do both. We might have to do it differently because of the conditions, but you have to wait and see once the game starts to see what you are able to do."

DeMarco Murray ready for the Chicago Bears, cold weather and perhaps increased workload Monday night - Brandon George, DMN
As the weather in Chicago may limit the passing game, Murray is getting ready for an increased workload and says he's ready to face the elements. And while the Bears run defense has resembled a sieve of late, Murray is taking nothing for granted and expects the Bears to be ready to play.

Cold war: Cowboys bring along special gear to battle frigid climate - David Moore, DMN
Moore details what the Cowboys and their equipment staff are doing to make sure the players can focus on playing football instead of worrying about the cold. An interesting read about a side of the game we don't really ever worry about.

Tony Romo of Dallas Cowboys focused on winning no matter what month - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Tony Romo does not think much about the calendar change.

"I think for us it's just about winning," Romo said. "I think you guys [the media] add the extra stuff [to] the winning. All that matters is getting the job done. No one cares about anything else. You guys can throw December; you're great in this; you're bad in this; you're dada, dada, dada … But it just doesn't matter. It's about getting the job done either way."

New locker position shows Cowboys' Tyron Smith looked at as leader - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
There are six lockers at Valley Ranch that border the exits in the locker room, and that Jason Garrett allocates to team leaders. The players currently occupying those lockers are Tony Romo, Sean Lee, Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware and Doug Free. Tyron Smith got the sixth locker this week.

"An NFL locker room is a sacred place, and there are things that are controlled in there," said Witten, who is now Smith's neighbor in the locker room. "Tyron has earned that. That's something that he deserves. If you look around our football team, he's a guy that plays at a high level and expects everyone else to as well. I think that's a good thing to have him there."

Callahan says Cowboys can see how Bernadeau, back in starting lineup, has elevated his play - Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram
Callahan says Bernadeau has elevated his play since being re-inserted into the line after Brian Waters got injured. Garrett is also complimentary of Bernadeau, saying his improvement has helped the running game. Bernadeau himself is a little more reserved:

"I appreciate that. It’s nice to hear," he said. "But there are things I’m still working on. Got to be more consistent."

Film study big for Dallas Cowboys' Dan Bailey - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Even kickers study film, at least Dan Bailey does, as he prepares for the adverse conditions that await in Chicago.

"Since I’ve never played there I’m going to have to figure it out when I get there," Bailey said, "but I watch film and see what the wind does. I watched multiple games and kind of see what lines their guy takes. It looks like it’s been pretty windy there almost all the time. I do as much homework as I can from a film standpoint and ultimately I have to just go out there and see what it’s like the day of."

Cowboys Injury Report: Morris Claiborne Out, Dwayne Harris Questionable - Blogging The Boys
Dwayne Harris, was moved up to questionable for the Monday night game and participated in a limited practice on Saturday. The Cowboys will have both Sean Lee and Justin Durant back, and it's possible DeVonte Holloman could be active bringing the Cowboys back to full strength at linebacker. Morris Claiborne is out.

Dallas Cowboys Getting Healthy In Time For Playoff Race - Shawn Lealos, CBS DFW
Lealos writes that outside of Morris Claiborne and possibly Dwayne Harris, "the Cowboys are almost completely healthy now." The eight players still left on IR disagree with this assessment.

Bears have had big problem with short yardage - Chicago Sun-Times
The Bears have converted just 50 percent of their rushing plays with one yard to go. So while the Bears are fourth in the NFL with an average of 4.9 yards per rush with 10 yards or more to go, they are 31st in converting with one yard to go (15 of 29).

An average NFL game: more than 100 commercials and just 11 minutes of play - Quartz
An average professional football game lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes, but if you tally up the time when the ball is actually in play, the action amounts to a mere 11 minutes. The average NFL game includes 20 commercial breaks containing more than 100 ads that take up about an hour, or one-third, of the game.

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Game-time temperatures are expected to be around 18 degrees, moderate winds - Wunderground.com
The weather in New York two weeks ago at kickoff: 25° F, Wind: W 6 mph. Similar conditions await at Soldier Field.

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