DallasCowboys.com Writers Share Gut Feelings For Cowboys-Bears Showdown

The Cowboys are looking to bounce back from a Thanksgiving Day loss to the Eagles, and unlike most years, they won't have the normal 10-day recovery time.

The Cowboys find themselves playing Thursday night once again, and are back in Chicago, where they were dominated by the Bears on a brutally cold Monday night game just last year in early December. While the temperatures aren't expected to be the single-digits this time around, it should still be a tough game for the Cowboys, who are looking to get past the eight-win mark for the first time in five years.

Here are the first gut feelings for staff writers Nick Eatman, Bryan Broaddus and David Helman.

Bryan Broaddus: What is interesting when you break down how this Chicago Bears defense has played this season, is that they give up far more points in the first half than they do in the second half. As a unit, they appear to settle down and find a rhythm while keeping opponents out of the end zone. On the other hand, the Cowboys on offense are mid-pack when it comes down to first quarter scoring, but pick the pace up in the other three quarters -- especially in the second one, which happens to be the quarter where the Bears have given up 145 total points this season. That puts them dead last in the league. My gut feeling is that the Bears continue this trend of poor first half play on their scoring defense and the Cowboys score early and often with 21 points that puts them in position for a 34-27 victory on Thursday night in Chicago.  

David Helman: I've had this circled on my calendar as a loss since the schedule came out back in the spring. I've been repeating that it will be a loss all season long. So naturally I'm going to throw my convictions out the window right before the game. I'm going to take this team at its word that it can improve after laying a gigantic egg against Philly. I think this Chicago defense is bad enough that Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray can make some plays and score some points – and I also think it's doubtful that Tony Romo will play two horrific games in a row. If no one else does, Romo will at least bounce back. I think Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte are going to torch this Cowboys' defense, but the Bears are disjointed enough that they won't be able to maintain it for four quarters. But really, it comes down to this: the Cowboys' playoff chances are done if they lose in Chicago, in my opinion. Winning doesn't guarantee they make the postseason, but losing makes them a serious longshot. I don't know if this year's Cowboys are good enough to make it all the way through December. But I do think they're good enough to keep a team with a losing record from ending their season. I think they'll grab a tough win – something like 27-24.

Nick Eatman: This game has looked ugly to me since the first time I saw the schedule. Obviously we didn't have the Cowboys sitting at 8-4 nor the Bears at 5-7. In fact, yikes, I had the Bears as my darkhorse Super Bowl pick. So take the rest of what I say however you'd like. Last week, I really wanted to pick the Cowboys to beat the Eagles, but going off my true "gut feeling" I just couldn't. I didn't see the Cowboys getting that win. This week, it's the same. I just don't see the Cowboys coming into Chicago and getting this win. For the life of me, I can't figure out how the Bears have won just five games and how they've struggled so much at home. But I see Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall and I just picture them having success like they did a year ago. Forte could have a monster day, especially if these Cowboys continue their poor-tackling ways. On offense, Romo will bounce back and I see DeMarco Murray having a really good night. My abnormal prediction calls for a touchdown by James Hanna. But in the end, I can't get my grips around a Dallas win. I'll go the home team, 31-24.

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