What We Saw: Dallas Cowboys vs Chicago Bears

Mike Miklius breaks down what he saw in the Chicago Bears 31-24 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears

 

After the Cowboys took the kickoff and scored a touchdown on a 17-play, nine-minute opening drive, it felt like they were in control of the game. It didn’t help matters for the Bears when Mitch Trubisky threw an interception on Chicago’s opening drive. After that interception, it was all Chicago. The Bears actually won time of possession in the first half on their way to a 17-7 halftime lead. They continued this through the third quarter, taking a 24-7 lead into the fourth. The Cowboys made a late push, but they never put the outcome in doubt. They fall to 6-7 but still lead the NFC East. The Bears are now 7-6 and hanging by a thread in the playoff race.

 

Dallas Cowboys

 

Quarterback

 

  • Dak Prescott: 27/49, 334 yards, 1 TD, 2 sacks | 3 carries, 1 yard

 

Don’t be fooled by the final stats: this was a bad game for Dak Prescott. With 7:43 left in the fourth, he had 180 passing yards and no touchdowns. Sure, it wasn’t all bad. Dak looked good on the opening drive and he also managed a couple nice drives late that at least gave Dallas a chance. However, he made mistakes too. He threw an almost-interception in the first half that the defense dropped. He had a few off-target passes in the second half due to Chicago’s pressure. Still, garbage-time stats count and Dak escapes with a decent night. I’m nervous to trust Dak next week, but the Rams aren’t a terrible matchup.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Ezekiel Elliott: 19 carries, 81 yards, 2 TD | 5 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards

 

After the first drive, Zeke owners had to be getting excited. He had 33 yards and a touchdown and the Cowboys looked like they would be nursing a lead–the ideal Ezekiel Elliott game script. Well, things still turned out well despite the Cowboys’ loss. Zeke was leaned on early and often, and he found the red zone twice. The one worry here was Zeke’s pass-catching. He dropped a couple of easy grabs, and he doesn’t inspire confidence in this area. Still, he is an obvious must-start each week. Let’s hope he finds the red zone just as much next week.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

 

  • Michael Gallup: 10 targets, 6 receptions, 109 yards
  • Amari Cooper: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 83 yards, 1 TD
  • Blake Jarwin: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 50 yards
  • Randall Cobb: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 43 yards

 

The Cowboys’ receivers were saved late here–there’s no two ways about it. Amari Cooper looked off tonight, and I suspect he may not have been 100%. He didn’t look full speed and he wasn’t making his usual explosive moves. Still, Cooper’s touchdown saved his day. He faced tight coverage, but Dak threw an excellent pass that landed in just the right spot. Keep an eye on Cooper’s status heading into next week.

Michael Gallup was another garbage-time hero tonight. At halftime, he had three targets and one catch. Heading into the fourth, he had 41 yards on three catches. Gallup took over late against soft coverage and nicely padded his numbers. This was not a confidence-inspiring performance though, and Gallup is hard to trust beyond the realm of flex.

With the shrinking of the whole passing game until the final ten minutes, Randall Cobb was doomed to starve. He saw five targets, but he was never a threat tonight.

 

Chicago Bears

 

Quarterback

 

  • Mitch Trubisky: 23/31, 244 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks | 10 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD

 

Welcome back, scrambling Mitch Trubisky. I hate to admit it, but I might be starting to believe again in the Bears’ quarterback. Mitch looked good early, as we’ve grown accustomed to, on the early scripted plays. Aside from an early interception (which was admittedly ugly), Trubisky had the offense rolling. He made a pair of nice touchdown throws to a tightly-covered Allen Robinson. The highlight of the night was a big 23-yard run to score the final Bears touchdown. Overall, there was much more good than bad, and this was a must-win game for Chicago. If you are desperate, I think you could make a case for Trubisky as a streamer next week. I’d still probably look elsewhere.

 

Running Backs

 

  • David Montgomery: 20 carries, 86 yards, 1 fumble | 1 target, 0 receptions
  • Tarik Cohen: 3 carries, 7 yards, 2 fumbles | 6 targets, 6 receptions, 24 yards

 

David Montgomery was the lead dog tonight as the Bears found themselves with the lead for most of the game. As such, he saw 20 carries and he used them well. Montgomery looked strong on his touches, and he frequently fought through first contact. He was a non-factor in the passing game, though, and the Bears scored a passing touchdown every time they were in the red zone. Montgomery’s fumble came when he was stood up and he eventually had the ball ripped free. I’m not worried as it looked like the play should have already been blown dead and Montgomery held on for a while. Montgomery still hasn’t hit 90 rushing yards or scored a touchdown since week nine, so he is at best a flex play. Also, keep an eye on his health. He headed to the medical tent late.

Tarik Cohen saw a nice workload tonight, but he never had the opportunity to find open space. He was frequently hit quickly when he caught a pass. Cohen does most of his damage through the air, but he is behind Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller in the pecking order. So, I’m not interested in starting him. This being said, Cohen would be very interesting if Montgomery sat next week. Again, monitor Montgomery’s health.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

 

  • Allen Robinson: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 48 yards, 2 TD
  • Anthony Miller: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 42 yards, 1 TD
  • J.P. Holtz: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 56 yards

 

Allen Robinson just keeps on rolling in a season that proves he isn’t past his prime. He put up another two touchdowns and is on pace for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. This is all despite the obvious struggles of the Bears offense for much of the year. Robinson had trouble finding space against the Dallas defense, but he still saw 4 red-zone targets and he continues to be the number-one option. Keep on rolling with Robinson.

Anthony Miller continues his emergence with another solid game. If we were to pace his last four games out over a whole season, he would have 148 targets, 96 receptions, 1,252 yards, and 4 touchdowns. On all three of Miller’s catches, he did his damage running after the catch. He is fun to watch in space, and he loves to take on defenders in space. The highlight was his touchdown grab. He caught the ball close to the line of scrimmage, then darted around a few defenders and ultimately dove into the endzone. His one worry might be actually making the catch though. Miller’s lone drop was a target on a late third-down play that could have iced the game. The ball hit Miller’s hands and fell to the ground. Miller is an interesting flex as long as Taylor Gabriel remains out. He is hardly a must-start, though.

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