Last year, the Cowboys offense couldn't do anything with the Bears defense on a Monday night contest. This year, it was the Dallas defenses' turn.
The Cowboys couldn't weather the storm. There wasn't any precipitation during the coldest game in Cowboys history (10 degrees at kickoff), but the storm was the Chicago Bears offensive gameplan that worked like a charm. Chicago scored on all eight of their possessions, including 28 straight, and romped the Cowboys on national television. Again. This time by the score of 45 to 28.
The Bears never punted once.
Journeyman backup Josh McCown has been playing lights out and continued tonight. He completed 27 of 36 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns. That was spread around evenly, as the Bears had four different receivers with at least 5 catches each. Dallas had no answers. Hell, Dallas didn't even understand any of the questions.
The game started off in beautiful fashion for the Cowboys. They gashed the Bears on the opening drive, going for 78 yards on 12 plays, the majority on the back of DeMarco Murray. The Bears entered the game having given up at least 100 yards to an opposing rusher in five straight games. Murray made it look like it might be six on the opening drive. Tony Romo found Dez Bryant for an easy score and a 7-0 lead.
Two drives later, Dallas would continue ripping through the Bears defense on the ground before Romo would work the play action to Jason Witten for a score to tie the game at 14. Then, all hell broke loose.
The Bears scored 10 quick points before halftime, embarrassing the Cowboys secondary as the front seven was getting absolutely no pressure on Josh McCown. Demarcus Ware was running sprints past the quarterback all night and no one else was even sniffing the backfield.
The secondary was no match for the oversized Bears receivers. Time after time, Brandon Marshall and up and coming star Alshon Jeffery made the Cowboys DBs look foolishly overmatched. The lowlight was a rainbow to Jeffery in the back right corner of the end zone where Jeff Heath and BW Webb looked clueless in how to attack the ball.
The Cowboys had a few chances for turnovers in the second half, but dropped two interceptions and had another taken away on a holding penalty on Brandon Carr.
The bend but don't break defense depends on turnovers to stay competitive, as they played their 39th different defender in Sterling Moore. Tonight, they were shattered into several tiny pieces.
Sean Lee returned after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury, and suffered a neck jam two plays after Scandrick couldn't corral an interception in the end zone. Dwayne Harris returned, hobbled but still effective, and reinjured his hamstring. Bruce Carter looked lost all day before hurting his hammy.
On the flip side, Tony Romo will take another "December loss" that had nothing to do with his performance. He spent most of the evening on the sideline trying to stay warm as his defense was walked up and down the field. His yardage total was lacking, going 11-20 for just 106 yards, but tossed three scores.
The problem came when the offense bogged down on three drives surrounding halftime, getting no more than 5 plays on any one drive. After gashing the Bears D to tie the score, they inexplicably called pass-pass-pass-pass and punted it away after allowing a field goal. The Bears would score a touchdown 30 seconds later and the rout was on.
Kyle Orton would get some garbage time action in and complete a late pass to Terrence Williams that should have been a touchdown but was ruled short. Rookie Joseph Randle would punch it in with less than 10 seconds remaining for the final margin.
The Cowboys would end the game with 198 yards rushing, and were blown out.
Now, the 7-6 Cowboys sit back and await word on if Aaron Rodgers will be coming to town with the 6-6-1 Green Bay Packers next Sunday. The Cowboys playoff chances probably depend on that decision.