Ok, so the Cowboys win against the Lions was nice. Dak Prescott looked solid as he was back on the field for the first time since Week 1, while the defense was an absolute machine yet again by forcing five second half turnovers to put the Lions away and get back into the win column. But another NFC North opponent awaits on the horizon in the Chicago Bears.
The Bears brought home a surprising win on the road against the Patriots on Monday Night Football where they rushed for over 200 yards. Not only that, but the defense forced four turnovers of their own against New England and have looked good under first year head coach Matt Eberflus.
Week 8, Cowboys Nation. It's on the way with the Bears coming right along with it to AT&T Stadium this Sunday. Here are five storylines for the Bears and Cowboys.
- The Bears run the football. Like really run the football and do it well. So well in fact that they lead the NFL in total rushing yards and rushing yards per game. The three-headed attack of Khalil Herbert, David Montgomery, and quarterback Justin Fields have combined over 1,000 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. That trio could prevent some problems for a Cowboys' defense that has struggled with the run at times.
- After a contract dispute that caused a stir during training camp, linebacker Roquan Smith has been right back at it this season as an absolute wrecking machine for Chicago. He leads the Bears in both tackles and sacks while serving as the focal point for a defense that has held opponents to just under 19 points a game this season. The Bears have also been sneaky underrated in their pass defense this season by ranking third in yards allowed in the NFL.
- While the defense has had a very good season collectively for the Bears, the offense has left a lot to be desired outside of the rushing attack. Justin Fields has already thrown six interceptions in just seven games while only completing just under 56% of his throws. More than that, Fields has been sacked more than any quarterback this season at 27 times.
- If you're looking for a Bears' wide receiver to keep your eye on this Sunday, watch out for Darnell Mooney. The third-year man from Tulane leads the team in targets and in yardage, as well as the longest reception for the Bears this season at 56 yards. Though he has yet to record a touchdown this season, he has been an integral part of helping get big plays and set up the Chicago running game.
- Old friend Matt Eberflus will be on the opposite sideline for the Bears on Sunday during his first season in Chicago. He of course was a part of the Cowboys 'defensive coaching staff from 2011-2017 and helped guide the likes of Sean Lee, DeMarcus Ware, and Jaylon Smith to immense success during his time in Dallas before moving on to the Colts.
- On Tuesday, the Cowboys made a trade with the Raiders, adding 10-year veteran Johnathan Hankins to the mix. Hankins definitely adds size to the group, weighing over 340 pounds. The former Giants draft pick, Hankins has played five games this season with Las Vegas. Hankins has just 14.5 sacks in 10 seasons, but he's more of a run-stopper. The Cowboys obviously are looking to shore up a run defense that ranks 20th in the NFL, averaging 120.1 yards per game.
- The toughest news of the week came on Monday when the Cowboys learned that cornerback Jourdan Lewis would miss the remainder of the season with a Lisfranc injury. While defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and head coach Mike McCarthy talked about how tough losing Lewis is, the latter said that the trio of rookie DaRon Bland, Nahshon Wright and former second-rounder Kelvin Joseph will all be battling to help fill the void left by Lewis who suffered the injury while making an interception against the Lions.
- Sunday will be Dak Prescott's third start of the season and second start back from the thumb injury that cost him five weeks. Owner/GM Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan Tuesday that Prescott's thumb should be less of a factor as the season goes on. Against the Lions Prescott passed for over 200 yards and a touchdown after getting out to a slow start.
- The Cowboys lead the NFL in sacks through seven games this season with 29 total thanks in part to Micah Parsons and Dorance Armstrong who have seven and six, respectively. With a Bears' offensive line that has surrenders the most sacks in the league this season, the Cowboys will have their crack at increasing that total even more on Sunday.
- After recording just two targets and no catches against the Lions, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore said on Monday that getting wide receiver Michael Gallup more involved is something that he feels he can do a better job on. The Bears have quietly been very good defensively in the pass game this season, and a nice game for Gallup could help offset that and improve the Cowboys' third down offense, something that Moore said Gallup could do.