The term trap game is an uncomfortable one. Trap games feel more like a college thing than an actual pro thing. This whole league is littered with superior athletes who play football at a high level and to think a team can just walk into a game and they will be able to calmly pull out a win seems naïve. This Cowboys team is a talented one, and can truly beat anyone when they are at their best, but to think they, or anyone for that matter, can look past an opponent in the NFL seems very foolish.
Ironically, a Chicago Bears win over the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football is a good thing for the Cowboys. It serves again as another reminder to respect your opponent because you can be beat any week by anybody, and if you don't prepare well it could go horribly wrong on Sunday.
These two individuals, one a Cowboy, one a member of the Rams, will have the biggest impact on Sunday’s game.
Dallas Cowboys X-factor: Micah Parsons
Micah Parsons can be the X-factor every single week. When you are one of the leagues premier players it goes without saying that your impact is going to be felt week in and week, out and it doesn’t need to be written for it to be known. However, to understand what makes this week different you need to look back to the Philadelphia Eagles game. The Eagles found a way to put Parsons in conflict with their RPO-style plays. They froze Parsons at times forcing him to make decisions mid-play and softening his rush. What Parsons was faced with was deciding if it is best to dive on the quarterback who has mobility or attack the running back at the mesh point for a tackle for loss, while also having to be aware of the play-action pass that they could leak out behind him. To stop these types of plays from being successful, all 11 defenders have to play assignment based football. If one man is out of position, that is all it takes to hit a big one.
Jalen Hurts to AJ Brown!@Eagles open up a 14-0 lead.— NFL (@NFL) October 17, 2022
: #DALvsPHI on NBC
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/exBLpd1qy0 pic.twitter.com/vfItFNxglH
What made these plays so successful is the threat of the running game from a mobile quarterback like Jalen Hurts, and this week insert Justin Fields fresh off a quality performance versus the Bill Belichick led Patriots defense. Fields isn’t as polished as Hurts, and certainly does not have the cast of weapons around him that the Eagles have, but one may think that do to similar styles of play, and the success while doing so, the Bears may try to attack the Cowboys in a similar fashion. They will try to use Parsons’ aggressiveness against him and put him in conflict that the Bears will hope to take advantage of. Success isn’t guaranteed as these aren’t the same two teams. They have vastly different personnel, but what can happen on Sunday if successful is another step in the league’s plan for limiting Parsons and his big-play impact. Dan Quinn and staff will have Parsons ready to go, and if he is able to go out and make the necessary adjustments from a couple weeks ago to stop the attempted attack, the Cowboys will win this football going away.
Chicago Bears X-factor: David Montgomery
We just discussed in detail the impact that Justin Fields and his legs can have on this game, but what cant be forgotten is what a successful traditional running game can do for a team. The ability to line up and run the ball effectively allows for teams to control the clock and in return control the game. All eyes will be on Fields and his ability, but what cannot be forgotten is David Montgomery and his ability to be dangerous out of the backfield. The Cowboys defense has been stellar through seven games and is widely regarded as one of the best units in football. However, the one thing they understand they can do better is defend the run, evident by the trade to bring Johnathan Hankins into the building to hopefully plug the middle.
David Montgomery just kept running and running and running #DaBears— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2022
: #CHIvsNE on ESPN
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/2HQeNdaFPc pic.twitter.com/x8NOrjXmcj
Montgomery has the ability to be another weapon on the ground for this Bears team that is one of the best in the league running the ball. Additionally to the actual production they provide running the ball, a respected run game opens up the passing game and allows for Fields to have quality looks out of play-action. Look for the Cowboys to really focus in on all facets of the Bears run game and try and force the game into the hands of Fields via his arm. If the Cowboys are able to limit Montgomery and his impact, it will go a long way to securing a ‘W’ this week.