Can the Dallas Cowboys run with their Dolphin-sized gift?
By Tyrone Starr
After getting a huge gift from the Miami Dolphins last Sunday, can the Dallas Cowboys accept the help and make something of this season on the brink?
As most of us tried to keep our Thanksgiving day meals in our stomachs watching an abysmal effort from the Dallas Cowboys, none of us could imagine what would occur three days later.
Whether it was the frustration and anger of another loss or the sureness we had that the inevitable tie with Philadelphia was forthcoming, shock and awe awaited us Sunday afternoon.
Few, if any, could imagine that the Eagles would drop a game to the Miami Dolphins. Yet on the last November day for this decade, the loss to Buffalo was lessened by the Eagles toe-stubbing loss in Florida.
Now, with four games left in the season, the Dallas Cowboys maintain the same one-game lead they had over Philadelphia prior to their two-game losing streak. While the Eagles still technically have an easier road ahead of them, after losing to a three-win team, all bets are off.
The Dallas Cowboys still own the driver’s seat. Their fate rests in their own hands. That fate begins this Thursday in Chicago against an equally disappointing Bears team that also sits at 6-6 on the year.
While Dallas and Chicago have done masterful jobs at frustrating their fan bases in 2019, they’ve gone about it in far different ways. The Cowboys have stability and promise both now and in the future at quarterback with Dak Prescott. The Bears, meanwhile, have legitimate questions about their quarterback drafted one year after Prescott.
After a rocky rookie year, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky came through for Chicago in his sophomore season. Winning 11 of his 14 starts in 2018, Trubisky led the Bears to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. This year, however, Trubisky has regressed, leaving the Bears organization in a state of flux.
In a similar vein, the Cowboys had high hopes for their defense heading in 2019. After finishing the prior season in the top ten in total yards and points allowed and in the top five against the run, there was excitement in the air.
This season has seen quite a turn for the success of the Dallas run defense. Currently sitting at 16th overall, there have been far too many times that this defense has been gashed on the ground.
It also seems like the Dallas Cowboys defense cannot make big plays at the most opportune of times. As such, the league’s top offense in total yards is often left without support.
For this meeting with the Bears, the Dallas defense cannot allow a struggling Bears offense to find any momentum. Chicago resides in the bottom five in both scoring and yardage gained. They have an atrocious rushing attack and own the worst yards per pass attempt in the league.
Prescott will also need to revisit some of his previous December magic. Dak is 9-3 in his career in the final month of the regular season. The Bears defense will, of course, be a formidable challenge but hopefully, Prescott will not need to have a huge game to be successful.
Utilizing the resources of running back Ezekiel Elliott could be the surest way to victory Thursday. In nine career games, Elliott has averaged almost 102 yards per game with four rushing touchdowns.
Given the weather, the Bears tough defense and their weak offense, I would not expect a high scoring affair Thursday night. Both teams need a win, although Chicago is on life support, needing an inordinate amount of help from other teams.
The Dallas Cowboys need to assert themselves and right their own ship. There is not much wiggle room left for mistakes, especially in winnable situations like this. Thursday will tell us a lot about whether or not this team is ready to make noise.