No Zeke, no problem: Cowboys’ offense explodes to a 49-29 win over the Bears

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Ainsworth/AP/Shutterstock (13578375z) Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott runs for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, in Arlington, Texas Bears Cowboys Football, Arlington, United States – 30 Oct 2022

No Zeke, no problem: Cowboys’ offense explodes to a 49-29 win over the Bears

In their best offensive showing by a mile, Dallas took home the victory at home against the Chicago Bears 49-29. Dallas mustered up 442 yards of total offense and six offensive touchdowns for the afternoon.

Dallas went into the game without leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott, but looked to be just fine with Tony Pollard leading the way. Pollard was a star this afternoon rushing for 131 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries. The Cowboys put up 200 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns as Dak contributed one of his own.

Speaking of Dak, he looked like he finally shook off the rust from his injured thumb. He started the game incredibly hot and finished with 250 yards passing for two touchdowns and a pick on 21 of 27 pass attempts. Not only was Dak efficient with the football, the Cowboys were as good as a team could be on third down converting on nine of 11 attempts for the game. Dallas came in with a 32% third down conversion rate, which ranked 30th in the NFL.

Dallas’ run defense proved to be a major issue in this game as the Bears put up 240 yards on the ground. Bears’ QB Justin Fields had his way scrambling against this defense racking up 60 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. RB Khalil Herbert had a great day rushing for 99 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Even with the addition of DT Johnathan Hankins, the Cowboys’ defense struggled to contain the run.

The Cowboys would open the game with the ball and immediately show more offensive firepower than they have shown all season. Dak Prescott was accurate with the football and the running game was effective on the opening drive. The 11-play drive would result in a Prescott seven-yard touchdown run giving Dallas a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

After the Dallas defense forced a stop on the Bears’ first possession, the offense would get right back on the horse and lead another scoring drive. The Cowboys came out moving at a much quicker pace on their second drive where they would commit to the short and intermediate passing game. That drive turned in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Dak to Ceedee Lamb giving the Cowboys a two-score lead at 14-0.

The Bears would get on the board on their next possession with the help of young QB Justin Fields. Fields used his legs to extend the drive on multiple occasions to help lead the Bears to the end zone for the first time. Fields would run in the first Bears’ score from the three-yard line cutting the Cowboys’ lead in half 14-7 early in the second quarter.

However, Dallas would answer right back with a touchdown of their own. This time, an 18-yars touchdown run from Tony Pollard would give the Cowboys a 21-7 lead with just under 11 minutes to play in the half. A six-play drive that saw 51 yards on the ground gave Dallas their two-score lead right back. Even without Zeke, the Cowboys are finding ways to effectively run the football.

The Cowboys’ next possession would again result in a touchdown. An eight-play drive ending in a one-yard touchdown pass from Dak to rookie TE Jake Ferguson gave Dallas a 28-7 lead with under seven minutes left in the first half. The Dallas offense continued to look stout in this one as they scored four touchdowns on their first four drives.

Chicago would gain some momentum from that point up to the end of the first half thanks to some key mistakes by Dallas. The Bears would lead a 14-play drive ending in a 17-yard N’Keal Harry touchdown catch cutting the Dallas lead to 28-14. On the previous play, however, a roughing the passer penalty on Chauncey Golston would negate a Trevon Diggs interception giving the Bears a second chance on the drive.

The mistakes would continue, as on the first play of the following Cowboys’ drive, Prescott would throw an interception to Bears’ safety Eddie Jackson giving the ball back to Chicago with 28 seconds left in the half. Chicago would settle for a 36-yard field goal from Cairo Santos to narrow the Dallas lead to 28-17 heading into the half.

The second half would start with both teams trading three-and-outs before Chicago would hit the scoreboard again. The Bears would lead a short four-play drive resulting in a 12-yard touchdown run from Khalil Herbert. Chicago would go for two and fail on the attempt keeping the score at 28-23 early in the third quarter. Chicago had scored 16 unanswered points since the last Dallas touchdown.

Dallas would answer right back again on the next drive as from here on, the Cowboys took control. At the end of a seven-play drive, Tony Pollard would rush for seven yards into the end zone for his second score of the day giving Dallas a 35-23 lead with under seven minutes to go in the third.

Dallas’ defense came through in a big one on the ensuing drive as Micah Parsons recovered a fumble and ran it in for a score giving Dallas a 42-23 lead. RB David Montgomery’s fumble was recovered by Parsons who then went untouched despite being in a crowd of orange jerseys. Justin Fields actually jumped over Parsons to seemingly avoid making contact with him before Parsons took it to the house.

Chicago was not going away quietly as their run game continued to slice through the Dallas defense. Their next drive went 14-plays as they amassed 70 total yards on the ground on that drive alone. This drive would end in a touchdown pass from Fields to TE Cole Kmet, who had not scored a touchdown since December of 2020. Chicago would again go for two and fail to convert leaving the score at 42-29 early on in the fourth quarter.

On the Cowboys’ next drive, they committed to running the football and it worked to their benefit. Tony Pollard and Malik Davis would combine for 79 rushing yards on the drive leading to Pollard’s third touchdown of the afternoon. This one a 54-yard homerun giving Dallas a 49-29 lead with just over ten minutes left to play.

That score would remain as the final ten minutes of regulation showed more defense than offense. Dallas started to get more serious pressure on Fields and locking up the run game, looking like the Dallas defense we have come to know.

Dallas moves to 6-2 with this 49-29 home victory over the Bears as they head into the bye week looking to get guys back healthy. Dallas’ next game will be at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers.

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