Cowboys Must Beat Bears
Philadelphia isn’t giving the Cowboys any easy weekends. The Eagles 34-20 win over Detroit on Sunday, means the Cowboys have to beat the Bears in Chicago Monday night to keep pace in the NFC East race. The Eagles improved to 8-5 on the season with Dallas at 7-5 going into the Bears game. The Cowboys own most of the tie breakers against Philadelphia so the path to the post-season in clearly in their own hands.
After Chicago, the Cowboys host Green Bay, travel to Washington and then, seemingly like every season, play their final game probably with the division title and the playoffs on the line. The last regular season game is against the Eagles, at AT&T Stadium.
Philadelphia finishes up with a game at Minnesota, home against the Bears and the Cowboy game. Everything seems to point toward that final game…again. As linebacker Sean Lee said last week, the Cowboys haven’t gotten the job done the past couple of years with the playoffs on the line in the season finale. Maybe his leadership, and direct challenge to his team, will light a fire. On top of that, Lee should be back on the field after missing two straight games with a bad hamstring.
Tony Romo seems to be two different players from November to December. His over-all record in November is 24-5, including the past 2 games, but in December Romo plays like a Grinch. He’s just 11-15 and if you add in January he’s 12-16. Unfortunately for Dallas, the team’s success almost totally revolves around Romo. It reminds me of John Elway in Denver, until he got some offensive help, he couldn’t carry Denver all by himself. The Cowboys put most of their offense on Romo, and he’s been very good most of this season, but they can’t keep doing it. In win or go home games, Romo is just 1-6 in his career.
The running game needs to pick up its share, and just like in the victory over Oakland when DeMarco Murray ran for 3 touchdowns and Lance Dunbar picked up a career high 82 yards. Dallas ran for 144 yards in that game, their second highest total of the season. Dunbar is out for the remainder of the year now but the commitment to the running game needs to remain.
Just to keep things interesting, quarterback Josh McCown will play again in place of the injured Jay Cutler. McCown, the former Sam Houston State quarterback, has been surprisingly good in relief of Cutler. The weather in Dallas has been miserable but the Bears will have the advantage playing in brittle Soldier Field Monday night, as they’re more accustomed to the frigid temperatures. If Romo and the boys want to distinguish themselves and finally extinguish their December reputation, it starts Monday against a Bears team that they should be able to beat. After that, take on a few more wins and no one cares about the past few years.