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Cowboys Offense To Face Tough Bears Defense Sunday

grossman_romo_330.jpgTony Romo and the high-powered Dallas offense, led by new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, face one of their toughest challenges of the season in Week 3 heading into Soldier Field this Sunday.   If they can manage to crack a little bit of daylight with the running game against the stingiest defense in the league, they should come out with a victory.

The Bears have the best rushing defense in the league, no doubt, and have held two good running teams to basically nothing in the first two weeks.  But they have only come out with one victory as a result, due mostly to a lack of offense in either game.  The key this week for Dallas, and likewise for Chicago, will be if Dallas can at least muster enough of a running game to make the play-action pass effective.  Romo is certainly at his best in situations where he can buy some time after a good fake to either Julius Jones or Marion Barber. 

The Cowboys have the edge in  turnover-ratio so far this season and with the return of CB Terrence Newman, the defense can certainly continue improving against the pass.   Last week against Miami, the defense did get significant pressure on Trent Green, which led to many of their turnovers, and if they can duplicate this against a rather shaky Rex Grossman, turnovers will be key once again.  DeMarcus Ware and Bradie James will be huge players in this aspect as the Cowboys will move Ware around to prevent the constant double-teams which should free-up James or someone else.   It is certainly unfortunate for us fans that recently signed DT Tank Johnson isn’t available for action in this game which would certainly elevate some of the emotional factors. 

One extremely important element of this match-up will be the kicking game.  Rookie K Nick Folk and P Matt McBriar must do their best to keep the ball away from the Bears’ most productive offensive weapon, KR/WR Devin Hester.  He has proven to be the most constant performer in a somewhat lackluster Bears offense.  Then their is the fact that this game will most likely come down to a last-second field goal by either team.  I give this edge to Folk, who has proven he has the leg-strength and nerve to make a long field-goal.  I know that on the other side they have Robbie Gould, who won many a game for the Bears last season, but the difference will be he doesn’t have Martin Grammatica waiting in the wings to take his job.  Of course should Folk prove to be the winning difference this week, Grammatica will more than likely be looking for work elsewhere.

I have to throw in my hat with most of the NFL commentators on this one and predict the Cowboys in a close one, 16-13.  And as a bonus to all my readers, my upset pick of the week is Houston over Indianapolis, 37-27, even without Andre Johnson.

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