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DALLAS COWBOYS/CHICAGO BEARS-Preview

There is just something right about this match up. Two of the oldest teams both contenders for the Super Bowl playing in prime time when there aren't any other teams going to haze up the situation.  

The Bears actually being favored by the home field 3 points host the undefeated Dallas Cowboys this Sunday.  Dallas comes in with an offense that has all guns blazing.  They have scored 37 and 45 points respectively in their first two games.  While nobody expects them to repeat that performance against the Bears defense that currently ranks 5th in overall defense, but it does show that this is a team that can move the ball and put it in the end zone.  Second year starter Tony Romo has been playing at an extremely high level.  He currently has an 119.3 QB rating, exceeded only by Tom Brady.  He has thrown 6 TDs and only 1 pick in those two games.   With a good squad of receivers led by Terrell Owens this will be a test for the Bears secondary.  Could it be that having Manning taking over for Brown in the secondary actually help this game?

Regardless of where the Dallas passing game is, the key to the game is their run game.  As with most teams, the run typically sets up the pass.  If you can shut down the run, you force a team into airing it out and with the ball hawking Bears D that is not a good thing. Dallas has a duo of young tough runners.  Julius Jones comes in with a  3.2 average and Marion Barber brings a whopping 6.2 average to this game.  The Bears have played stout against the run holding the league's best rusher, LaDanian Tomlinson to to a minuscule 25 yards and the always dangerous Larry Johnson to 55 yards.  If the Cowboys allow these guys to consistently move the chains it could spell disaster.  We don't want a team with this offensive ability hanging around in the red zone too often.

On the flip side, let's face it the Bears offense is struggling.  It just grinds it's way down the field when it does move.  There doesn't seem to be an emphasis on spreading the field or going for the deep plays.  Whether is is a lack of aggressive play calling or a lack of confidence in QB Rex Grossman is unknown at this time.  Last week versus Kansas City there were signs of life.  This could be the came that opens things up.  The Cowboys are currently 26th in overall defense.  They are giving up a huge 293 yards per game through the air and 93 yards on the ground.  If the Bears offense can move the ball, get a lead and keep the D fresh Dallas will be leaving Chicago with their first defeat.

As much as the offense is struggling the defense has been playing near lights out.  In week one the Chargers scored two touchdowns both on a short field off of turnovers.  They were not able to sustain long drives against this defense.  The defense took two big hits last week losing Mike Brown and Dusty Dvorcek, but the Bears depth is better staffed to handle it this year with Danieal Manning and Darwin Walker filling in.

This game has a ton of potential to be a classic, but with a few bounces here or there it could also get ugly for either team.