During the 2012 season, I continuously made "previews" for the Cowboys games each week. It was a very detailed story pretty much, where I basically went through the entire game by quarter, "predicting" what would happen. Now, before the draft or free agency is even complete, I will do that for every game on the schedule right now. Granted, this fake preview is probably not accurate in the least. I have no idea how rookies and other free agent signing will impact the games. However unrealistic and detailed beyond belief this is, it is not a real preview, but it is just fun to pretend I have been to the future and seen these games.
Week 1: @ New Orleans
Week 2: vs St. Louis
Week 3: @ Detroit
Week 4: vs Green Bay
Week 5: @Philadelphia
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: @ Kansas
Week 8: vs Minnesota
Week 9: @ New York (Giants)
Week 10: vs Washington
Week 11: vs Denver
Week 12: @ San Diego
Week 13: vs Philadelphia
Week 14: vs New York (Giants)
Week 15: vs Oakland
Week 16: @ Washington
Week 17: @ Chicago
Week 17: @ Chicago Bulls: Sunday Night Football
The Cowboys (9-6) will be in a need to win situation in week 17 for the third season in a row. The Giants and Redskins both finished 9-7. Washington is out of playoff contention since Dallas and NY hold the tiebreakers over them. With a win, Dallas will go into the postseason. With a loss, NY will represent the NFC East in January. Dallas will head into a cold Chicago against a 10-5 Bears team playing for best seeding.
Brandon Carr, DAL: Last time Chicago and Dallas played, Carr was absolutely wrecked by Marshall throughout the entire game. Carr will need to be in much better form and put some containment on him in this round, or the Chicago Bears may get out to too much momentum.
Quarter by Quarter
Q1: In a noisy environment, Chicago will receive the opening kickoff. Hester will get a good return. He almost breaks free but Sterling Moore catches him, and the Bears begin their series at their own 38 yard line. Jay Cutler gets right into it, starting the game off with a screen to Marshall that goes for 8 yards before Carter catches him from behind. With great field position after just one play, the Bears get excited. Cutler goes for the long bomb on the next play, putting up a jumpball deep for Jefferey. Claiborne plays the coverage very well though and the pass is broken up. On 3rd a short, Cutler drops back before giving a draw to Forte. Forte has a clear 5 yards in front of him, but after a cut, breaks out for another 15, putting Chicago on the brink of field goal range. Cuter has lots of time on the next play, and goes for the deep attack again, this time for Marshall against Carr. But Carr is caught for a PI on the Bears 10, and Chicago is now in the redzone. Cutler hands it off the Forte up the middle, and he moves the pile for 5 yards. Cutler goes for a short slant on the next play, but Marshall drops a potential TD when he is hit from behind by Carr. On 3rd and goal from the 5 yard line, the crowd is extremely loud and ready for a Chicago TD. Cutler drops back and has some time. But Ware edges from behind. Cutler feels the pressure and decides to run into the open space in front of him. Lee reacts quick and meets Cutler on the ground as he dives. After a lengthy review, it is determined that Cutler was down before the ball crosses the endzone, and the Bears take the 3 points instead of going for a short 4th down conversion. 3-0. The Cowboys, disappointed with the way the Bears moved on offense, will be ready to counter the score. Romo is hurried on the first play and throws it away. Murray is able to find 8 yards on the next play, but Romo is immediately sacked on the third down play as Melton blows up the pocket and is in Romo’s face. The Cowboys punt. The Bears do not repeat their offensive success, and punt the ball as well. This time, the line plays better, and Romo is able to move, getting 2 first down on the way to the Bears 40. On first down, Romo drops back and goes for a deep one to Austin. Austin is able to get away and make a nice catch on the ball at the Bears 5. The first quarter ends.
Q2: The Cowboys, knocking on the door of a score, are at the 5. On the next play, Romo is in the pocket, when Melton blows past the middle again and gets Romo head on. Romo fumbles the ball, and Isreal Idonije is able to recover and Chicago creates a momentous turnover, and have possession at their own 10. Matt Forte takes 2 runs for 10 yards, and Cutler throws a screen to Jeffery that takes it all the way to halfield. The Bears slowly drive to the Cowboys 30. On 3rd and short, Forte takes the handoff up the middle, but Ratliff and Hatcher are able to stuff him before the first. The Bears take another field goal, and the score is now 6-0. The Cowboys step back on the field, after a drive all the way to the goal line was ripped away last time. Dwayne Harris returns to the 27, and Dallas feels the pressure to score and not sucumb to the crowd. Romo hits Bryant on a slant on the first play, followed a short hook to Witten. Murray takes a couple handoffs and after another short pass, Dallas is at the Bears 40. Romo fakes the run and goes deep, for Austin along the sideline. Austin makes the catch at the Bears 20, and is pushed out of bounds. After a challenge by the Bears, it is ruled complete the Chicago loses a timeout. Romo drops back and is sacked by McClellin on the next play, making it sack number 3 in the first half. A Murray run goes nowhere, and Bryant drops a short slant on 3rd and 17. Dallas is finally on the board though with a Dan Bailey field goal, making it 6-3. The Bears run a few plays and punt, and so do the Cowboys. The Teams keep handing it back and forth, until the Bears have the ball at their own 40 with 30 seconds left. Using their last timeout and a couple plays, the Bears will be at the Cowboys 38 with 5 seconds left. The Bears will go for the field goal, but it will be just a smidge to the right and it will head to halftime in a low scoring affair, 6-3.
Q3: The Cowboys will get the kickoff to start the 3rd, needing some juice in the offense. Romo will be ready, and so will Bryant, to provide that energy. Romo will make nice plays, juking defenders and finding Bryant twice in a row to move the ball to the Bears 45. Harris will get the ball on a screen and move it 28 yards before he is chased down by Major Wright. Dallas will be at the 17, ready to score. Romo will drop back and after he doesn’t see anything for a few seconds, will run up the middle and gain 10. Murray will take two runs to the goal line, setting up a 3rd and Inches which will be an important score. Romo fakes the pass and feeds the ball to Vickers, who breaks a half hearted tackle in the backfield by Idonije and diving headfirst into a tiny hole and emerging upright in the endzone for the games first TD. Through an unexpected hero, the Cowboys take a 10-6 lead. The Bears will be playing for something as well though, and will do a good job moving the ball, using 3 screens and a slant to get the ball in field goal range again. Cutler will be pressured by Hatcher on the next play, and as he prepares to throw, Hatcher hits his arm and forces the fumble. Hatcher shows great hustle, tracking the ball as it falls and landing on it immediately. The Cowboys force a key turnover at their own 40, and are in position to take over the game. The offensive line does a great job pass protecting Romo. On the first snap Romo has all the time in the world, and after a hard pump, launches the ball deep downfield. It is Harris, wide open, ahead of every defender who makes the catch in stride (Jesse Holley vs San Fran?) and runs just 10 yards and into the endzone as Dallas sets the tone and takes a 17-6 lead. The Bears will be desperate to get back into the game, and wil look better on offense. However, Sean Lee comes up and makes a pick inside the Cowboys 30 on a tipped ball by Lissemore. The Cowboys, nearing the end of the 3rd quarter, will be in great shape, with an 11 point lead and possession. That strong lead will melt, as Romo makes a bad throw, not seeing Major Wright on a pass to Bryant. Wright makes an easy catch and has an easy path down the sideline for the TD. With the crowd very loud and excited, the Bears make a gutsy call, electing to go for the 2 point conversion. The energy is on their side, as Jeffery beats Claiborne outside into the flat, and Cutler makes the easy play, cutting the Cowboys lead to 3, 17-14. Dallas gets the ball, and after 2 runs for a first down, the 3rd quarter ends.
Q4: The Cowboys will start with the ball at their own 35 in a tight, crucial game against the Bears. After the initial offensive spurt, Dallas will slow down as the Cowboys are faced with a 3rd and 10. A pass to Bryant changes it though, as he breaks a tackle and is able to weave between defenders and find a lane to sprint. He gets all the way to the opposite 15 before he is finally caught by Charles Tillman. The Cowboys run a draw which gets 2, and an incomplete pass on 2nd down. On 3rd down, Romo throws a screen to Bryant, but a whiffed block leads to him being tripped up behind the line of scrimmage, and Dallas has to kick a field goal to take a 20-14 lead. The Bears, still seeking their first offensive TD, perform very clutch on the next play. Despite Ware and Spencer both crashing the pocket consistently, the Bears are able to move on offense. They drive all the way to the Cowboy 15, before Matt Forte takes it all the way up the middle and the Bears lead again, 21-20. The Cowboys , with 5 minutes remaining in the game, will need to play very well now. Romo and Bryant both show up again, and after a 3 minute drive, are at the Bears 30. After two more runs, the Cowboys are at a 3rd and 4. Romo drops backs and fires a slant at Austin, but he drops the conversion. With 1:40 remaining in the game, Dan Bailey hits the field goal and Dallas takes a 23-21 lead. The Bears get the ball back with 1 timeout and 1:30 left to get a field goal. The Bears get to their own 40 and have to use their last timeout, with 1 minute left. On the next play, Spencer shows up in the big moment and gets Cutler from behind. With the clock running, the Bears hurry to the line and spike the ball. On third down, Cutler has to dump it to Forte as the pressure comes, Forte tries to juke, but Lee wraps him up, bringing on 4th and 12 after just a 2 yard gain. With only a few seconds left, Cutler looks for a 15 yard sideline pass. But the corners are playing the coverage very well, and Cutler has to escape blitzers. The Clock is down, and it is the last play of the game. Cutler drops back and bombs a pass deep for the endzone. Clairborne comes up and picks it off at the goal line and kneels, and the Cowboys win, heading to playoffs.
Final Score: Dallas Cowboys 23, Chicago Bears 21
Romo: 23/35, 300 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Murray: 22 rush, 90 yards
Vickers: 1 rush, 1 Yard, 1 TD
Bryant: 8 rec, 150 yards
Harris: 3 rec, 90 yards, TD
Witten: 5 rec, 50 yards
Austin: 5 rec, 80 yards
Cutler: 25/40, 280 yards, 2 INT
Forte: 23 rush, 120 yards, 1 TD