Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket host Bob Sturm grades the Dallas Cowboys in their win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday night.
This offense rolled up a massive day that easily went over 400 yards, converted a majority of 3rd downs, and punched every last red-zone drive into the end zone for a touchdown. Dak Prescott was again solid through the air, and now the offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott was able to survive a night without Tyron Smith yet still ground and pound throughout the evening, averaging about five yards per carry. If not for a missed field goal and a fumble by Terrance Williams, it is reasonable to assume this offense was going to put up 40 points - without Tony Romo and with relative ease.
The effectiveness of the defense is often dependent on what you are asked to do and who you are required to stop. On this occasion, they were seldom stressed by the hapless Bears attack, which, given the lack of a consistent pass rush, was probably fortunate. The defensive secondary (without Orlando Scandrick) had a very solid game with several broken up passes. They simply must get their pass rush going, but the work against the run and on third down was quite good and they found two vital takeaways. They certainly were satisfactory, surrendering some cosmetic yardage but remaining rather untested overall on the evening.
Overall, the Cowboys were in total control from an offensive standpoint, and this must be credited to the coaching staff for successfully integrating a rookie QB and a rookie RB into what looks like a very competitive group. The scheme is altered from a Romo playbook, and they have put Prescott in a position to be successful. They called a game that followed the blueprint of eating the clock while moving the chains. Defensively, they were not going to gamble against Brian Hoyer and a Chicago offense that lacked any sort of confidence or swagger. It was the proper game plan that was well executed.
This was a game that absolutely needed to go into the win column for this team to remain competitive when Romo can return. They were big favorites against a battered opponent and had to establish the ability to win at home. Not only did they do all of that, but they made it look very easy again, putting the Bears well behind in the second quarter. They seem to have found some rhythm and continuity, and they will only gain more confidence heading into San Francisco to play another team that appears beatable. There were a lot of solid signs from this outing.