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Chicago Bears Six-Pack Keys to Victory Over the Cowboys

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The Bears enter something very close to a must-win game against the Cowboys, in order to keep their hopes for the division alive. We're offering six keys to help them do it.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

1) Feed the Monsters

Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have developed into the Bears' two strongest weapons. While record-wise the Bears don't do so well when Jeffery goes over 100 yards (in fact, this year they haven't won in that situation), the Bears finally have a guy that can benefit when Marshall is double-teamed, which should continue to open things up down the field for the Bears' passing game. Going in against the league's 31st-ranked passing defense, Marshall and Jeffery should be ready to make some plays.

2) Protect the Football

The Cowboys have picked up 25 takeaways on the season, including twelve fumbles forced and recovered. Josh McCown has only thrown one interception in his short time this season. The Cowboys' offense hasn't had a very high average drive this year, meaning they need a little more of a short field to work with. Not giving the Cowboys a short field with interceptions and fumbles will sure help.

3) Get Opportunities Against the Pass

The Bears' pass rush has been a little more resurgent as of late, and they go up against an offense that's put the ball in the air the 11th most times in the league. Jeremiah Ratliff's short time on the field last week may have helped Julius Peppers put together one of his best games on the season, but will it help even more against Ratliff's former team?

4) Don't Ignore the Run.

But the Bears can't just pin everything on the passing game, as the run has been what's murdered them this season. And DeMarco Murray still has a 4.9 yards-per-carry, which is dangerous against a Bears' team allowing a league worst 5.0 yards per carry. Stop overpursuing, close a gap, and maybe keeping Murray under 150 yards will give Bears fans some breathing room.

5) Chris Conte and Major Wright

Yes. I'm marking them as keys. And really, they only look worse than they've actually been. Yes, they've been rough on angles, and have missed tackles on occasion, but so many plays in front of them aren't being made that it gives them more chances to look bad. They'll need to step it up this week to hold Murray down and to keep Dez Bryant and Jason Witten from doing things deep.

6) Offensive Line

The Bears allowed four sacks last week, but still put forth a pretty good effort in pass protection and run blocking. Against DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher and George Selvie, they'll need to match up against a pretty good defensive front that gets after the passer and is headed up by former Bears' defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.