The Chicago Bears (3-4) will face the Dallas Cowboys (5-2) on Sunday, where Chicago is looking to win their second straight game.
The Bears are coming off a dominant 33-14 win over the New England Patriots (3-4), where all three phases contributed in the impressive victory. Justin Fields played the best game of his career while the run game continued its dominance. The defense held the Patriots scoreless in the second half and forced four turnovers.
It’s the kind of performance that this team can build on moving forward. But they face a tough task against a talented Dallas squad.
Before the game, we caught up with managing editor KD Drummond of Cowboys Wire to get the scoop on the Bears’ Week 8 opponent.
Here are six questions with Cowboys Wire:
In a shocking twist no one saw coming, the NFC East has been the best division in the NFL. So much so that the 5-2 Cowboys are in third place. What are your thoughts on the NFC East resurgence?
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KD Drummond: It’s a mixed bag, of course. I don’t believe in the Giants who are running on an unsustainable formula of close-game victories on third-down luck. I actually think a Taylor Heinecke Washington team is a more competitive group. But the Eagles are very real and present a ton of challenges for Dallas with the way Jalen Hurts plays and their willingness to make moves (such as trading for Robert Quinn). I don’t think there’ll be enough opportunity to catch them because the schedules aren’t as difficult as other divisions, but it’ll make for a great NFC playoff field.
Dak Prescott returned to action last weekend after breaking his thumb back in Week 1? How did he look in his return? Is there still some rust to shake off?
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KD: There’s definitely still some rust to shake off, but it was night and day compared to when Cooper Rush was under center. So many kudos have to go to the backup for a 4-1 record (by the way, Mike McCarthy’s Cowboys are now 9-2 in their last 11 backup QB games, surreal). But Prescott’s “rusty” performance was Dallas’ highest passer rating, Total EPA, Air Yards average and Completion Percentage over Expectation were all Dallas’ season bests. It should be all up from here.
The Bears have the best run game in the NFL, and they’ll no doubt look to establish that early and often. Can we expect Chicago’s success on the ground to continue?
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KD: Dallas made their own trade this week to grab Johnathan Hankins from the Raiders as they have not been pleased with their run stoppage ability in 2022. I’d imagine both backs will have a big day but it will be interesting to see what kind of adjustments Dan Quinn has made since facing a similar run-heavy, running QB offense from the Eagles a couple weeks ago.
With the trade deadline fast approaching, is there anything we should keep an eye on with the Cowboys?
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KD: I still have pipe dreams of landing a third receiver such as Carolina’s DJ Moore but more than likely if they do anything it will be a move similar to acquiring Hankins. Low-risk, low-draft-capital moves. Aside from wideout, they could look for offensive line depth as that’s been shaken recently with the loss of two backups, one for the season. Outside of those spots, Dallas is incredibly deep.
Who are some under-the-radar Cowboys fans should know?
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KD: TE Jake Ferguson is a rookie out of Wisconsin who seems to be on the verge of a big game. If Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t play, fans are really interested in seeing what UDFA running back Malik Davis looks like. On defense, rookie Sam Williams played just 14 snaps last week and had two sacks including a strip sack and recovery along with two TFLs. Jourdan Lewis is out for the season so rookie Daron Bland should man the slot but 2nd-year CB Kelvin Joseph may see more snaps, too. Return man Kavontae Turpin has back-to-back games with a 50+ yard gain. Those are the primary ones I expect to bubble up.
What’s your prediction for the game?
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KD: I’ll have to see the Bears do it again to believe Week 7 wasn’t a mirage, so I’ll say Dallas 27-13.