One team handled the conditions. One team played like its playoff lives were on the line. One team physically opposed its will on its opponent.
That one team wasn't your Dallas Cowboys.
The Chicago Bears were everything that the Cowboys wished they could have been on Monday night – relentless. This Cowboys defense has seen its share of outstanding, elite quarterbacks this season, but none managed the game better than a journeyman from the state of Texas in Josh McCown.
In looking at all the matchups, the one battle I thought would favor the Cowboys was at quarterback with Tony Romo against McCown, but that wasn't the case at all. McCown managed terrible conditions by throwing the ball with pinpoint accuracy. It was rare when he was off, and when he was, Bruce Carter or Orlando Scandrick couldn't make him pay for his mistakes.
The Bears had an outstanding plan and took advantage of every matchup across the board. I was convinced that Scandrick would battle wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, but that also wasn't the case. These are the types of games that get you on the map if you are Scandrick, who is dying to be known as a shutdown corner, but tonight he looked like just another guy, which is unfortunate because he had been playing well.
Brandon Carr against Brandon Marshall was going to be difficult, but again, he wasn't even in the same area code. The Cowboys paid a great deal of money for better play out of him in these types of situations, but in the end, he spit the bit. Carr wanted no part of Marshall or anyone wearing a navy jersey on Monday night, which is a shame for how much the front office and coaches have invested in him.
The secondary wasn't the only issue with this defense. Even with Sean Lee back in the lineup, it was still some of the same problems getting pressure on the quarterback or getting off blocks to make tackles in the running game. It was a total team break down in all areas. When you can't get off the field, you can't help the offense. The plan to run the ball with DeMarco Murray was a sound one, but when you don't force the opponents to punt, you are not going to win many games. [embedded_ad]
Offensively, the Cowboys were not perfect by any means. They were perfect running the ball, but the passing game was not what it needed to be. The Bears, defensively, want you to throw the ball because that is their only chance to get off the field. Once they force you to throw, they can send their rush after you. Romo wasn't as accurate as he needed to be, and they didn't make those explosive plays that they can on the outside with Dez Bryant.
Give the Bears a ton of credit, they played like the team with so much on the line, while the Cowboys didn't. It's a short week getting ready for Green Bay, and there better be some short memories … or this season will be a distant one.