Big Picture: Cowboys Looking To Get A Home Win vs. Injured Bears Team

(Editor's Note: Each week, the staff of will present "The Big Picture" for the upcoming game, presenting an overall update for each team as they head into the upcoming contest. This week, the Cowboys take center stage for Sunday Night Football against the Chicago Bears.)

WHAT: Chicago Bears
WHEN: Sunday, 7:30 p.m. (Central)
WHERE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Dallas Cowboys

Winning on the road doesn't appear to be a problem for this team. Last Sunday's win against Washington boosted the Cowboys to 1-0 on the road this season, and it improved their road record to 12-5 since the start of 2014.

In that same span, though, they're a woeful 5-12 at home – with their last win at AT&T Stadium coming more than one calendar year ago. The Cowboys will undoubtedly downplay that fact, but they'd love to stop this unfortunate streak Sunday night.

If they're going to do that, there's a few things they'll want to clean up before Sunday night. The Dallas offense moved the ball for a solid 380 yards of offense, but that production was offset by two troubling fumbles by Ezekiel Elliott – one of which was recovered by the opposition.

All credit to the defense for shutting the Redskins out in the fourth quarter, but it can't be ignored that they surrendered 432 yards of offense – highlighted by 364 passing yards.

The Bears are facing the prospect of not having Jay Cutler for this game, after he sprained his thumb in Monday night's loss to Philadelphia. But it doesn't require a good memory to know that that isn't necessarily a problem. Back in 2013, Josh McCown lit the Cowboys up for 348 yards and four touchdowns while hitting on 75 percent of his attempts.

Given their performance in crunch time last weekend, though, this year's Dallas defense shouldn't be lacking in confidence heading into the matchup.

This might be the brightest spotlight so far for rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, given that it's a primetime matchup. Don't expect that to rattle him, however. Prescott has yet to throw a touchdown pass, but he's completing 63 percent of his passes for an average of 260 yards per game to this point.

Most importantly against an opponent with just one takeaway so far this year: Prescott has yet to turn the ball over in two NFL starts.

Chicago Bears

Perhaps the most important question facing the Bears is "Who exactly will be playing for this team on Sunday night?"

Cutler wasn't the only starter to suffer an injury in Monday's 29-14 loss to the Eagles – and his wasn't the most serious. Pass rusher Lamarr Houston tore his ACL during the contest and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. Nose tackle Eddie Goldman was also carted off the field with a high ankle sprain, which is expected to sideline him for several weeks.

That doesn't include linebacker Danny Trevathan, who is expected to undergo surgery Wednesday after spraining his thumb in the game. Trevathan's injury isn't season-ending, but it seems like a good bet he won't be available by Sunday night.

That's a lot of bad news to absorb for a team that is off to a disheartening 0-2 start. The Chicago defense is playing some solid football, ranking No. 9 in the league in yards allowed – though they rank 23rd in scoring defense after some late scores by the opposition.

Even before Brian Hoyer took over for Cutler in the second half on Monday, the Bears offense hasn't looked quite so good. Chicago is ranked No. 31 in the NFL in yards per game with an average of 271. The scoring offense isn't much better, coming in at No. 30 with 14 points per game.

Through two games, the Bears have scored a grand total of four touchdowns – one of which came on a punt return with the outcome already decided against the Eagles. Jeremy Langford's two rushing touchdowns and Alshon Jeffery's 206 total receiving yards on nine receptions are just about the only positives to speak of.

It'll be an interesting week of preparation, given the injury issues facing this team. Chicago coach John Fox would not rule Cutler out for the game, which means the Cowboys will have to prepare for both Cutler and Hoyer as the week moves closer to kickoff.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content