Sep 23, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) during the first quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

NFL Week Four Picks & Predictions: Cowboys vs. Bears (Part One)

Every week of the NFL regular season, we ask all of The Landry Hat writers and contributors to submit their picks and predictions for the upcoming Dallas Cowboy game. This week, we asked our experts for their predictions for the Monday Night game between our Cowboys and the Chicago Bears.

Sep 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) gets hit after throwing the ball by Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Michael Bennett (71) at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Buccaneers 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Steven Mullenax, Editor & Head Writer: I think we see a very similar game as we did last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Expect a low scoring, defensive battle. Scoring should have more to do with turnovers then great offensive plays. Call it a gut feeling, but I’m not sold the Cowboys win this one. Both defenses will play well, but I think the Bear’s offense is slightly more in tune. Chicago over Dallas, 20-16.

Jonathan Barger, Senior Writer: The Cowboys will continue to struggle on offense, and this will be a battle of the defenses.  Jay Cutler’s poor decision making will be the X-factor in this contest.  Look for whichever Cowboys punter takes the field to kick away from Devin Hester.  Cowboys will scrape away a victory, 17-10.

Chance Streetman, Staff Writer: The Cowboys won an ugly game last week thanks to the great play of the defense. The defense ranks #1 in opposing YPG average through 3 games. What is concerning is the team’s 31 penalties, 6 turnovers, and Romo being sacked 7 times through the first 3 weeks. He has thrown an interception in each game, and he has been taking many hits due to the weak offensive line. The offensive line needs to be fixed in a hurry because they play the Chicago Bears who lead the NFL in sacks of opposing quarterbacks. The Bears have equally been sloppy on offense this year.  Jay Cutler has been sacked 11 times and thrown 6 interceptions this season. Matt Forte looks to be a game time decision as of now. Even if he does play, he probably will be limited. I think this could be another ugly win for the Cowboys. Ugly wins count in the NFL. Dallas 16, Chicago 15

Alex Young, Staff Writer: It’s the battle of the bad offensive lines when the Cowboys host the Bears on MNF to kick off the month of October. This matchup pits two 2-1 against each other and both teams have been underwhelming to start the year, despite the winning record. Neither quarterback has gotten off to a good start: Bears qb Jay Cutler has thrown for only three touchdowns while throwing six interceptions through three games–four at Green Bay in week 2. Cutler had been expected to possibly have a career year since he would have a full season with ex-bronco teammate, wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

While Marshall has been as advertised, Cutler has struggled to get it going. Tony Romo is kind of the same way, Romo has has an atypical start to his season, throwing an interception in each of the first three games after only throwing 10 all of last season. He accounted for all three Dallas turnovers last week, a pick and two fumbles.

The key for both teams this week, as mentioned in the opening sentence, is the offensive lines. Combined, the teams have allowed 17 sacks through three games, 10 for Chicago and 7 for Dallas. If either offense is going to put up numbers, they will have to protect the quarterback.

The other big factor are the running backs. Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray was rendered ineffective last week, rushing 18 times for just 38 yards in the Cowboys win. Chicago has been without starting running back Matt Forte for the past few weeks, but he expects to play Monday.

Expect both teams to try and establish a run game early to grind down the defense. For Dallas, they cannot afford the kind of penalty-filled first half that they had last week, the Bears have more weapons than the Bucs and the Dallas defense cannot be expected to be relied upon to consistently stop Chicago drives after committing penalties; they will get burned eventually.

Expect a slobber knocker, defensive fight as linebackers Julius Peppers and DeMarcus Ware try to take out each ones respective quarterback. I see this one as another poor offensive showing for Dallas and a Bears team that hits a few big plays that the Cowboys can’t counter with. Bears win, 23-17.

If you liked a particular answer, please check out the author’s other articles by clicking on their names.

And join us tomorrow  morning as we’ll have more picks and predictions from our other writers and contributors!

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