By Alex Al-Kazzaz
Despite a valiant and resilient effort and an attempted comeback by the Chicago Bears, the Dallas Cowboys emerged victorious with a hard-fought 49-29 win at home against Justin Fields & company. With the Giants coming up short against Seattle, Dallas is now second in the NFC East and they can now relax and enjoy their bye week.
Chicago deserves credit for the massive offensive performance in the running game. Managing to amass nearly 250 yards on the ground again can't go unnoticed. Fields himself ran eight times for 60 yards and managed to score a rushing touchdown. In addition, he tossed two more touchdowns and even managed to challenge the Dallas defense at times single-handedly. A few crucial incompletions hurt Chicago a few times, but overall, the major lack of support from the Chicago defense proved decisive in the game.
Ezekiel Elliott was inactive for this game. So Tony Pollard got the start and to say that he made the most of his golden opportunity would be an understatement. Pollard carried the ball 14 times for a total of 131 yards and three touchdowns. In Pollard's case, averaging 9.4 yards per carry and his 54-yard touchdown in the game run speak for themselves. Pollard is now the 11th player in Cowboys franchise history to score three rushing touchdowns in a game and the first since Dak Prescott did so in 2020 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Prescott had a very good game. Minus the interception that heavily shifted the momentum of the game from Dallas' favor, Prescott's performance was respectable; 21-for-27 for 250 yards with two touchdown passes and one rushing. Prescott scored his first rushing touchdown since November of last year and his 25-yard run is his longest since 2019.
For the first time since 2014, the Cowboys scored a touchdown in each of their first four possessions of the game. Dallas punted only twice and the play-calling for once was quite good. Quite frankly, at the end of the day, Prescott's interception was the biggest offensive hiccup. Finishing with a 9-for-11 third-down conversion efficiency is respectable considering the Dallas offense has struggled on their downs this season. A 4-for-4 finish in the red zone is an accomplishment for Dallas.
Not surprisingly, the Dallas defense struggled against the NFL's best rushing attack. The Dallas rushing defense has struggled all season and they came into this game ranked 20th in the league. Penalties were a problem as they afford Chicago's offense three first downs off penalties, although the roughing the passer call on Chauncey Golston certainly was a questionable call. The unfortunate part was that the penalty erased a Trevon Diggs interception and Chicago went on to cut the lead to 28-14 and Dallas began showing signs of a downfall, which they were able to avoid. No doubt, the Dallas defense was heavily tested. Chicago's offense managed to finish with 36 minutes of offensive possession. Surrendering a total of 29 points is not common for how the Dallas defense has been this season.
On a positive note, the defense managed to sack Fields a total of four times. The defensive highlight of the game for Dallas is Micah Parsons' fumble return for a touchdown. It's no exaggeration to say that the defense had the full support of the offense in this one, so it's safe to say that Dallas won the game as a team. Furthermore, had the offense not been able to be productive, Dallas certainly would not have come out on top. No doubt, for the second consecutive week, the Cowboys entered a trap game and managed to spring and escape the trap.