The Dallas Cowboys obliterated the first brick wall put up in front of them on their 2007 march to the playoffs. The Chicago Bears and their formidable defense were supposed to supply the opposition, but Tony Romo and the Cowboys made short work of the NFC Champs at Soldier Field, 34-10. Following the same pattern of starting slow and finishing big this year, the Cowboys resemble a boxer carrying their opponents for a few rounds before getting down to business.
A boatload of penalties - some of them questionable - an interception, a blocked FG, and a dropped TD all helped to slow the Cowboys offensive machine in the first half. The defense gave up yards but tightened-up when they needed to and held Dallas in the game until Romo and Terrell Owens blew the game open in the second half.
I’m running out of superlatives to describe Tony Romo’s performance this season. He spent part of the night turning Chicago’s pass rush into a bunch of dancing Bears trying to catch a jack-rabbit. Romo ran Chicago’s front-four silly in the pocket and ended up hitting big passes when the play should have been over. He finished the game 22 of 35 for 329 yards and 2 TD’s. But the stats don’t really describe how well he played, the way he was able to counter the Bears’ rush and still find receivers was amazing. He did a lot of this while the rushing game was non-existent and Dallas was passing on almost every play.
Terrell Owens turned the second half into the feature event again, even though he had some catches in the "matinee" first half. Owens across the middle is a deadly pattern for Dallas and the Cowboys are so intent on moving him around that they lined him up in the backfield and sent him in motion. The Bears simply had no answer for him. Jason Witten was stellar, as usual – the quiet assassin. Marion Barber came on and put up his requisite couple of TD’s and showed some tough running when the Cowboys were finally able to quit passing.
The defense stepped up again this week and produced those key turnovers that are crucial to big wins. Anthony Henry has played back-to-back superior games, this week he had another two interceptions and returned one for a TD. DeMarcus Ware finally got it going with two sacks and his partner Anthony Spencer added one. The Bears where unable to establish a solid running game and had to rely on Rex Grossman, exactly the way the Cowboys wanted it. He was no match and turned the ball over three times, giving the Cowboys all they needed to deliver the knockout blow in the second half. Let’s not forget Remi Ayodele, the backup nose tackle, who ripped out a fumble that was recovered by Roy Williams, who also had a late interception.
At this point of the season, there is no doubt that the Cowboys are the elite team in the NFC. The offense is firing on all cylinders, the defense is getting big turnovers, and the special teams – except for the blocked FG – are playing lights out. Devin Hester wasn’t even a factor in the game tonight.
Use this thread for all-night celebrating of the Cowboys crushing victory over the Bears.
Box score here.