The Dallas Cowboys entered Monday Night Football’s, Mike Ditka jersey retirement game with high hopes. Having just defeated the Oakland Raiders on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium, and rival New York Giants in their own house Sunday November 24, there was reason for the Cowboys optimism.
But, like a classic Ditka forearm shot to the head, the National Football League is a harsh one at times as the Chicago Bears absolutely manhandled the Dallas Cowboys defeating them 45-28. If not for a garbage time touchdown in the fourth quarter by rookie running back Joseph Randle, the score would have reflected an even bigger deficit.
The offense, led by Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo got off to a nice start on the first drive of the game as they marched down the field 75 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown. During that dominating drive, Dallas ran the ball successfully 6 times and attempted 6 passes finishing with a Romo to wide receiver Dez Bryant touchdown. But, Cowboys fans would soon learn that while the Dallas offense came prepared, the defense virtually took the night off.
The Chicago Bears countered the Cowboys impressive first possession with a 12 play 83 yard scoring drive of their own, capped off by a Quarterback Josh McCown four yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Earl Bennett.
Chicago scored on every single drive for the entirety of the game except for a kneel-down in the 4th quarter to run out the clock. In what was literally one of the most dominant, score-at-will, performances witnessed in the NFL this year, Chicago did not punt the ball once.
There is much blame to go around for the abysmal performance by the Dallas defense. If you need proof simply take a look at the 341 passing and 149 rushing yards the Cowboys gave up. Or you could watch the highlights in slow motion of Cowboys rookie safety J.J. Wilcox not once but twice launching himself through the air looking like a cross-eyed goat trying to shoulder tackle ball carriers and missing badly.
If you want further review of the Cowboys defensive ineptitude, you could check out the two dropped interceptions, or the actual cornerback Sterling Moore interception which was called back because of a clear CB Brandon Carr hold. The mountain of data and video reflecting the poor play, if they had the time, could have the coaches and players reviewing film for a couple of weeks.
But alas, this is the NFL, which means of course that a team only gets a small amount of time to learn from their failures. In this shortened week, the Cowboys have only until this Sunday December 15th to bandage their substantial wounds and prepare for their next opponent. Adding pain to the Cowboys loss; Sean Lee, Dwayne Harris, and Bruce Carter all left the game with injuries and did not.
Quarterback Tony Romo summarized Chicago’s offensive domination best when he said,
“You know we got beat pretty soundly. They played well. It’s not going to be a fun tape to watch.”
Cowboys Nation can only hope that defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin gets his team back on track and ready for a stout Greenbay Packers offense on Sunday.
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