Quick Game Comments: Bears at Cowboys 10/30/22


  • The Cowboys game plan became quickly evident. It was going to be a heavy dose of running back Tony Pollard at the Bears somewhat weak run defense along with attacking wherever Jaylon Johnson wasn’t in the passing game. Most often to CeeDee Lamb (77 yards).
  • The Bears really got handled upfront. Its very hard to win where that’s the case. They need to work on their defensive line in the off-season. It’s an underrated need.
  • The Cowboys had 98 yards rushing and 28 points with 7 minutes left in the second quarter. In fairness, it wasn’t just the defensive line. The Bears simply didn’t play very good run defense. They weren’t very disciplined in plugging their gaps and staying in them. For that matter, there were a number of instances of evident broken or poorly executed coverages in the passing game as well. This was the biggest problem.
  • On a related note, the Bears problem with rollouts to the outside also made itself evident very early. Dominique Robinson collapsed down on the inside run and Dak Prescott danced into the end zone right around the end with no one to contain for the Cowboys first touchdown. I thought we were done with this after the Giants exposed this problem a few weeks ago. Evidently not.
  • How big was the interception by Eddie Jackson at the end of the first half? Ending the half with another score and getting it right back to start the second half 11 points down after being down by 21 kept them in the game at that point. Jackson continues to have a great comeback season in this respect.
  • The Cowboys were 9 for 11 on third down. And that doesn’t really tell the whole story. They stopped the Cowboys on third down for the first time all game 3 minutes into the second half. That tells you how flat they were in the first half.


  • It’s very evident that the Bears plan was to establish the run game. The Cowboys were ready for it. They have a very good pass defense and even average pass defenses need not fear the Bears passing game much. Both teams knew that.
  • The Cowboys were playing fast and swarming to the ball. That’s generally a good thing but it meant that the Bears best success on the ground often came when they used misdirection. An end around to Velus Jones to the right for 18 yards while everyone else moved to the left in the first quarter was a great example of this.
  • Again Justin Fields’ legs were the Bears greatest weapon (60 yards rushing with a touchdown). This is, of course, a good thing. But as long as that’s the case he’s probably not progressing enough as a pocket passer. It also exposes him to injury which makes it risky.
  • On a related note, the Cowboys were also ready for the designed runs to Fields. They had either a linebacker or a safety spying on him early in each down.
  • What we need to see more of from Fields are passes like the one to N’Keal Harry at the end of the first half. Fields took the ball and got rid of it to Harry within about two seconds. A quick decision, a quick and accurate throw on the money over the middle for a 17 yard touchdown. That wasn’t the only example. Fields was 17 for 23 for a respectable 151 yards with a quarterback rating of 120.0. Those are the kind of passes that will get Fields paid and secure his position as a franchise quarterback with the team. They just need to see much more of it.
  • Another good thing about Fields. He’s been handling the pressure coming at him pretty well. The Cowboys did a good job of rushing him but he didn’t panic. He made some good, calm throws around and over free pass rushers coming at him all game. That’s another very good sign.
  • The strength of the team continues to be the running backs, David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert who had 152 yards combined. Give the offensive line credit. The protection wasn’t great today but the run blocking was pretty good.
  • The things that struck me was how well the Cowboys use their tight ends in the passing game. In contrast, I couldn’t even tell you if Cole Kmet was out there today until he caught his first touchdown of the season early in the fourth quarter. It was his only catch of the game other than a shuffle pass late for essentially no gain.
  • Jones dropped a pass that would have set the Bears up with first down from the four yard line near the end of the first half. It was a big miss at this time in the game with the Bears struggling to keep in the contest. Considered along with his muffed punts in previous games, Jones has had a rough start to his pro career.
  • I tried to keep an eye on whether the Bears were trying to do anything special to stop Micah Parsons. Parsons has become one of the best pass rusher in the NFL. As far as I can tell, through left tackle Braxton Jones got occasional chip help from a tight end, Parson was going one-on-one with him on the left for quite a bit of the game. Though the Cowboys got pressure on Fields elsewhere, Jones kept Parsons from doing much damage. Parsons had only 4 tackles and no sacks.
  • Parson’s recovery of Montgomery’s fumble and subsequent run after not being touched for a touchdown was just a nice, heads up play.


  • The Bears had 6 penalties for 45 yards but the Cowboys had only 5 for 36. So, though they were disciplined, they got no advantage from it today. The turnover battle was even at one apiece.
  • Reversal of the call on the Khalil Herbert fumble early in the second half was interesting. On replay, a front angle clearly showed that Herbert lost his grip on the ball. From a back angle it looked like he might’ve gotten control of it again but it was really hard to tell for sure because you couldn’t see the ball very well. If it would have been me, I’m not sure I would’ve reversed that call. But as it was, the Bears certainly caught a break. Herbert eventually scored a touchdown to get the Bears within five points of the Cowboys.
  • The NFL needs more people like Jared Allen.
  • This game set itself up as a letdown game. The big victory in against New England last week was nice but it’s human nature to let down the week following such a big victory. Even as 10 point underdogs, its natural for a young team like the Bears to come back and perform that well again and they did indeed struggle, especially on defense. It was an uphill climb before they even started this week.

    Having said that, the Bears just got beat by a better team today. The Cowboys have more talent at almost every position than the Bears do. Frankly, I was surprised they hung in there as well as they did for as long as they did today. They scored a lot of points and although Justin Fields isn’t there yet, I think we did see some good things from him today.

    I think we can take this away for what it is and move on to next week without feeling too bad about things.

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