The Dallas Cowboys will face the Chicago Bears this Monday Night. Despite beating the Tampa Bay Bucaneers, the Cowboys are coming off an abysmal showing from the offensive line in both the running game and passing game. RB DeMarco Murray rushed 18 times for a paltry 28 yards, and QB Tony Romo took so many big hits I lost count. The ongoing woes of the offensive line have been well documented, but so has the red hot start of Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan’s defense.
The defensive play of standouts ILB Bruce Carter, CB Brandon Carr, DE Jason Hatcher, and ILB Sean Lee more than made up for a lackluster offensive effort and paved the way for a 16-10 victory over the 1-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coming up this week is a very dangerous Chicago Bears team that needs a win and many think has the tools to accomplish that feat on Monday at Cowboys Stadium. Let’s look at the facts and come up with this week’s Final Verdict.
1. The Bears offensive line vs. the Cowboys front seven. Fans may believe the Cowboys OL is in disrepair, but statistically, the Bears OL makes it look like Romo and Murray are working behind the likes of Nate Newton, Larry Allen and crew. The Bears have a serious problem up front. They have given up the fourth most sacks (14), second most QB hits (20), and the most tackles for loss (20) in the NFL. All of the QB pressures, hits, and sacks that were blamed on the offensive scheme that former Chicago Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz employed, are proving to be false. So far, they are worse under new OC Mike Tice.
Last week, the Cowboys front seven led by DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher, and Anthony Spencer, were able to constantly pressure Bucs QB Josh Freeman. As a result of the incessant pressure, Freeman completed only 36% of his passes. The Cowboys are allowing an impressive 29.7% success rate on 3rd down, and that starts with pressure up front. The key to this matchup will come down to Bears LT J’Marcus Webb and RT Gabe Carimi. Webb gave up 2.5 sacks to Green Bay OLB Clay Matthews and is in danger of losing his job. Carimi has been having his own problems on the right side and that, my friends, is a recipe for disaster if you’re a Chicago fan. Verdict: Advantage Cowboys.