By Alex Al-Kazzaz
The Dallas Cowboys will host the Chicago Bears this Sunday at AT&T Stadium and are looking to improve to 6-2. With the bye week starting after Sunday, the Cowboys are determined to enter their bye week with a win as they'll take on Green Bay at Lambeau Field on November 13th.
For Dallas, earlier this week, reports surfaced that Ezekiel Elliott was injured. Although he has not yet officially been ruled out, it's looking like he won't be expected to play on Sunday. Elliott apparently sustained the injury against the Detroit Lions when he took a bit of a nasty hit. He would ultimately remain in the game. If Elliott doesn't play, Tony Pollard will start.
Chicago is coming off a dominant 33-14 road win against the New England Patriots. The Bears managed to amass nearly 250 yards on the ground and the defense forced four turnovers. Justin Fields rushed for 82 yards on 14 carries and Chicago's running game averages 181 rushing yards per game and which puts them first in the league. And with Dallas having the 20th rushing defense in the league, the Cowboys may be in a bit of a pickle as far as the opposing running game goes.
As good as Chicago's running game is, their running defense allows an average of 150 yards per game with an average of 4.7 yards per carry. In addition, Chicago's passing game is the worst in the league with an average of just 126.3 passing per game. Furthermore, the Bears have allowed the most sacks in the league(27) and the Cowboys' defense excels at putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks and they lead in the league in sacks(29) and QB hits(56).
So clearly, Dallas' defensive game plans are similar to previous games; inflict pressure, sack the quarterback, force punts, avoid penalties, and FORCE TURNOVERS. However, the Cowboys' defense has to find a way to solve their problems dealing with opposing running games. However, the offense is a much bigger problem for the Cowboys; fourth worst in the league in total offensive yards per game(305) along with sixth worse passing yards per game(183) and an average score of 19 points per game.
The issues on offense range from the offensive line and lack of explosive production. But overall, it starts with the offensive coordinator. Kellen Moore's playcalling has not been good. When Dallas struggles to effectively run the ball, the problems intensify and the situation worsens.
This Sunday, the offense needs to effective production and they need to be able to keep control and to keep the defense off the field as much as possible. With Chicago's passing defense being third best in the league passing yards allowed per game(180), the Dallas running game needs to be highly productive and functionable.
Scoring touchdowns is vital and they need to start scoring as early as possible and continue to score.