The Dallas Cowboys moved to 2-1 on the season with a 31-17 win over an out-manned Chicago Bears team. Let’s check on the news. For a great initial recap, we turn to our main man, Tom Ryle.
We would see Ezekiel Elliott have his first 100 yard game, Cole Beasley would catch the longest pass of his career, and Lance Dunbar would score his first ever NFL touchdown. Despite having Chaz Green starting at left tackle and Ron Leary having to come in to spell a struggling La’el Collins, Prescott would not be sacked and the running game was obviously very strong. Oh, and that no touchdown pass streak would finally end for the rookie quarterback, courtesy of Dez Bryant, of course, while his no interception string remained intact.
Indeed, a lot of firsts in this game. Zeke over 100 yards, Dak gets a touchdown pass. The rookie combo is really blossoming.
Youth is taking over the Dallas Cowboys.
Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, the fourth pick in the draft, had the first 100-yard game of his career, finishing with 140 yards on 30 carries, and rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, who was picked 131 spots after Elliott, had the first touchdown pass of his career.
Dak Prescott looked great again, making everyone forget about the Cowboys backups of last year.
With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without injured quarterback Tony Romo over three seasons before the rookie fourth-round pick showed up.
Prescott's first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he's up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia rookie Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals in NFL history.
Looks like it’s going to be a decade of Dak Prescott/Carson Wentz comparisons.
Cole Beasley continues to be Dak’s favorite target. He had seven catches (on seven targets) for 73 yards and his first ever catch over 20 yards from the line of scrimmage.
Let's not overlook the contributions of Cole Beasley. The fifth-year wideout had his third straight 65-yard-plus receiving game of the young season and established himself as Prescott's favorite target, as if it weren't already clear. Cowboys coaches and fans have to admire his consistency in the short game and marvel at his toughness. One first-quarter hit would have snapped lesser receivers in half, but not Beasley.
The Cowboys managed to do a couple of things they haven’t done in a while. One, they won at home. The last time? Beating the New York Giants to open the 2015 campaign. Two, they beat a team by a lot of points.
In taking care of the struggling Chicago Bears, 31-17, in front of 90,554 fans and a prime-time television audience, the Cowboys defeated an opponent by at least two touchdowns for the first time since a 44-17 victory over the rival Redskins in the final game of the 2014 campaign.
How did the Cowboys defense do in the game. Bob Sturm gives them an average grade.
The effectiveness of the defense is often dependent on what you are asked to do and who you are required to stop. On this occasion, they were seldom stressed by the hapless Bears attack, and given the lack of a consistent pass rush, were probably fortunate about that fact. The defensive secondary (without Orlando Scandrick) had a very solid game with several broken up passes. They simply must get their pass rush going, but the work against the run and on 3rd down was quite good and they found two vital takeaways. They certainly were satisfactory, surrendered some cosmetic yardage, but were rather untested overall on this evening.
The pass rush is still a big problem. The Cowboys are tinkering with their defensive line, hoping to generate some pass rush. Thy weren’t too successful.
The Cowboys went with a new starting lineup along their defensive front Sunday night. After having some success in the fourth quarter against the Redskins, Dallas decided to start Tyrone Crawford at left defensive end, Jack Crawford at right defensive end, Maliek Collins at three-technique defensive tackle and Terrell McClain at the one-technique tackle spot. Tyrone Crawford recorded a tackle for loss on Chicago's first offensive play from scrimmage. He and Collins combined for three tackles for loss on the night. Those two played well, however, the Cowboys failed to record a sack against a team that allowed eight sacks in their previous two games.
Teams have been feasting on the Bears offensive line, the Cowboys struggled. DeMarcus Lawrence can’t return soon enough.
But the defense did come through at a crucial time when the game could have gotten tight.
Double defensive stops – Momentum was starting to swing in the Bears’ favor after a touchdown in the third quarter and a defensive stop to get the ball back. But on two straight possessions, the Cowboys’ defense stiffened. First, J.J. Wilcox forced a fumble after blasting a receiver over the middle. While Dallas didn’t capitalize and Dan Bailey missed the field goal, the defense came up with another stop as the Bears entered Dallas territory. On third-and-10 from the 42-yard line, a swarming group of defenders rallied to stop the Bears again and force another punt. The Cowboys then marched the field for a game-clinching touchdown.
If you want to re-live some of the big moments in the game likes Zeke’s hurdle over a Chicago defender or Dak’s first touchdown pass, please visit our in-game stream with all the highlights.
Our friends over at SB Nation’s Bears blog, Windy City Gridiron were not too pleased with their teams effort.
On Sunday night, for the second week in a row of prime time football in front of a national audience, that lack of depth caused the Chicago Bears to be embarrassed.
The Dallas Cowboys had their way with the Bears on Sunday night, running the football at will, and making Dak Prescott look like The Next Big Thing in Dallas. The Bears defense couldn't stop Prescott or running back Ezekiel Elliott, who both chewed up yards and scored points nearly every chance they had.
On the flip side, the Bears offense, led by Brian Hoyer, looked like an offense led by Brian Hoyer. He didn't play bad, but it was very clear his limitations as a starting NFL quarterback.
Other NFC East games
In a surprise, Washington knocked off the Giants to drop them to 2-1 on the season.
All the Washington Redskins needed to avoid a dreaded 0-3 start was a couple of fourth-quarter interceptions by backups and five field goals from a guy who had never made that many in a game.
Dustin Hopkins kicked a 37-yard field goal with 1:51 to play and the defending NFC East champion Redskins got a much-needed 29-27 win over the penalty- and error-prone New York Giants (2-1) on Sunday.
The other NFC East team, Philadelphia, is on fire. Many of us were ready to write them off for this year, but no longer. They are 3-0 and have their own phenom rookie quarterback.
After beating the Browns and Bears in the first two games, the Eagles (3-0) proved they could compete with the big boys.
The Steelers (2-1) averaged 31 points the first two weeks and are considered Super Bowl contenders.
Pittsburgh was 19-2 against rookie quarterbacks since 2004. But Wentz is no ordinary rookie.
One last thing, Jerry is very happy with his 135th overall pick in the 2016 draft.