Dallas Cowboys Fall Short in Crucial Game vs. Chicago Bears

The Dallas Cowboys traveled to Chicago, Ill., on Thursday night to meet the Bears in the Week 14 Thursday Night Football matchup. Both teams came into this game at 6-6 with both clubs aiming for the win to give them a winning record. Dallas was slightly favored to win the game and had won the last two matchups between the teams, but the Cowboys came up short for the third week in a row and the Chicago Bears emerged victorious.

The game began with Dallas having possession of the ball and after a lengthy nine-minute opening drive, the Cowboys put the first points on the board as Ezekiel Elliot rushed the ball for the two-yard touchdown and Brett Maher kicked the extra point for the 7-0 lead.

Chicago also had a lengthy first drive that took them all the way to the Dallas 16-yard line when Mitchell Trubisky threw a pass intended for Javon Wims but was intercepted by Jourdan Lewis. The Cowboys didn’t capitalize on the interception and the score remained the same going into the second quarter.

Chicago had possession to start the second quarter and put up points in the opening drive when Trubisky connected with Allen Robinson for a five-yard catch to tie the game at seven.

Dallas didn’t put any points on the board in their opening drive while Chicago successfully scored on their next possession after Pineiro kicked a 36-yard field goal, giving the Bears the 10-7 lead with just over eight minutes on the clock.

Despite a 31-yard rush by Elliott the Cowboys were unable to convert on the third down, and Maher who has missed several key field goal scores in recent weeks missed yet again on Thursday night when he went wide right on a 42-yard attempt.

Chicago came back in their next drive and kept possession of the ball for the rest of the half before they put another touchdown on the board when Robinson and Jaylon Smith simultaneously caught the ball at the same time, which by rule automatically gives the offensive team the touchdown, and the Bears took a 10-point lead into the locker room at halftime.

The first drive of the game lasted 17 plays and almost nine minutes while the second to last drive was 14 plays and shaved nearly five minutes off of the clock. These lengthy drives were a reflection of strong defensive play from both sides of the field despite the Bears’ offensive success up to this point.

The second half of the game started with Chicago possession of the ball. In similar fashion to the first half, it was a lengthy possession at almost seven minutes and 11 plays before Trubisky passed the ball to Anthony Miller for a 14-yard touchdown, putting 24 unanswered points on the board and seeing the lead expand to 24-7. The score would remain unchanged for the rest of the quarter.

Dallas saw their second half open with three-and-outs in the opening two drives as Prescott was unable to connect on any of his passes and the Cowboys’ defense stopped the Bears in the next possession, not allowing them to put any points on the board for the first time since the ball was intercepted in the first quarter.

David Montgomery fumbled the ball during the next Chicago drive, and Smith recovered it at the Dallas 46-yard line for a six-yard gain. Dallas finished the third quarter with possession of the ball after they were finally able to convert on a fourth down and then again on the third down before the time expired.

Elliott took the ball for the two-yard touchdown rush and Maher kicked the extra point to put Dallas on the board for the first time since the opening drive in the first quarter and closed the gap in the score to just 10 points, making it 24-14 with 14:55 left in the game.

Again, the Bears capitalized on their opening drive and put points up when Trubisky rushed the ball for the 23-yard touchdown, extending Chicago’s lead to 31-14. For just the second and third times of the contest, Chicago went three-and-out in the next two drives. However, the Bears kept the Cowboys from putting any points up in their next three possessions partly due to Prescott throwing more than 10 incomplete passes, several of them delayed throws tossed in a rush to avoid being sacked.

With four-and-a-half minutes left to play in the game and nearly all hope lost for a Dallas comeback, Prescott connected with Amari Cooper for a deep 19-yard touchdown pass and Maher, who has a perfect extra point average, kicked the extra point to bring the gap within 10 points again, 31-21.

Dallas kept the Bears from putting any more points on the board and they were able to produce three more points in their final drive before the clock expired as Maher successfully put the ball through the posts from 35 yards out, finishing the game at 31-24 in Chicago’s favor.

Despite another embarrassing loss for Dallas and a losing record so far this season, the Cowboys are in still in first place of the NFC East ahead of Philadelphia, and even if the Eagles win their game against the New York Giants on Sunday, Dallas will keep the top spot. The Cowboys need to take the next week and a half between games to regroup and get their offensive line on the same page, at the very least.

Next up on the Dallas schedule is the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 15. That same day, the Bears will face the Green Bay Packers.

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