ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys and Bears put up 78 points between them.
We had long runs, long passes, long quarterback sneaks and some defensive touchdowns. But all games have those plays that can get overlooked but still changed the course of the game.
First drive extended by Gallup – The Cowboys converted their first six third-down conversions. They scored on their first four drives. But both of those stats would've been out the window had Michael Gallup not hauled in a tough pass from Dak Prescott on third-and-6 to open the game. Gallup's first down positioned the Cowboys to score on a run by Prescott. But the first down pickup by Gallup put the Cowboys in Chicago territory and in position for the big start.
Dak's monster quarterback sneak – The Bears had chipped into the lead at 14-7, but the Cowboys were on the move. It was third-and-1 at the Chicago 43 when Prescott went for the QB sneak. He not only picked up the first down, but kept the legs moving and churned out 25 yards that eventually led to another Tony Pollard touchdown and a 21-7 lead.
Roughing the passer changed the game – In a game that saw nearly 80 points scored, it's hard to think one play altered much. But what if Chauncey Golston isn't flagged for roughing the passer on Justin Fields late in the second quarter? The penalty wiped out Trevon Diggs' interception with the Cowboys leading, 28-7. Diggs ran it back to the 45-yard line with 45 seconds left. The Cowboys would've needed a first down or two to get into field-goal range and perhaps lead by 24 points, if not more, by halftime. But the penalty gave the Bears the ball back and they scored on the next play, and then picked off Prescott, which led to a field goal. The Cowboys were in position to lead 31-7 at halftime, but it was 28-17 instead.
Momentum swings on Schultz catch – The Cowboys saw a 28-7 lead turn into a 28-23 score after the Bears scored again in the third quarter. Momentum had shifted dramatically and the Cowboys faced third-and-9 at their 26. Prescott got the Bears to jump, so with a free play, he lofted a pass to Dalton Schultz over the middle for 30 yards. From there, the offense kept it going and scored on a Pollard TD, extending the lead to 12 again.
Penalty puts Micah back on the field – In the third quarter, with the Cowboys leading, 35-23, the Bears had a third-and-11 at their 24. The Cowboys did not have Micah Parsons on the field to rush the passer, but a false start penalty pushed it back to third-and-16. The Cowboys then switched their defense and put Parsons on the field. That's when David Montgomery lost a fumble that Parsons not only recovered, but got up untouched and ran to the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown. Had it not been for the penalty, he wouldn't have been on the field for third down.