The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Buffalo Bills and now take on the Chicago Bears. With every game of the season there will be things to watch and pay attention to. Here are five things to watch for in week 14.
1. How Will the Cowboys Score Points?
All season long, the Cowboys have been able to move the ball, but they aren’t scoring enough to match that production. They are the top passing offense in the league and rank decently in rushing yards per game as well. Even with the yardage, they score fewer than 20 points per game.
Now, the Cowboys play a defense that ranks in the top 10 against the run and the pass. Dallas needs to move the ball and convert when they get their chances. The team still needs a game against a good team when the passing and running game both are working. Last week, Ezekiel Elliot had just 12 rushes, but Prescott threw for 355 yards. Hopefully, the Cowboys can figure out the right combination to put some points on the board.
2. Amari Cooper’s Play
The last two weeks has given Dallas fans a chance to see two different versions of Amari Cooper. Two weeks ago, he was completely shut down by Stephon Gilmore and the Patriots. Last week, he had eight catches for 85 yards. For the Cowboys to win, Cooper may need to play even better this week.
Chicago’s pass defense has played well this season, but Cooper should be able to get some separation on their corners. Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller are good corners, but Cooper is playing like a top 10 receiver most weeks. If Prescott can find Cooper early and often, it will help the offense score points.
3. Xavier Su’a-Filo’s Job Filling In
Last week against the Bills, Connor Williams went down with an injury that ended up being a torn ACL. Xavier Su’a-Filo filled in for Connor Williams. Right after he was inserted into the game, Su’a-Filo gave up a sack. The offensive line needs to play well this week and some of that hinges on Su’a-Filo.
In the past, Su’a-Filo has filled in well for the Cowboys. He has had to play a lot of snaps with all of the injuries the Cowboys have faced on their offensive line. If he can play decently, it should be another factor helping the offense score points.
4. Can the Defense Produce a Dominant Defense?
This season, the Cowboys have had issues on the defensive side of the ball. There is always something preventing this team from a complete performance. Their best outing may have come against the Patriots, when they allowed just 13 points. They need to start playing better as they make a push for the playoffs.
The game against the Bears provides the team with a great chance to have a dominant performance. Chicago ranks near the bottom of the league in passing, rushing and scoring, meaning they don’t do much of anything right. The Cowboys should be able to hold them to just a few points and make some big plays.
5. Will the Defense Start Forcing Turnovers?
Forcing turnovers has been something the defense has been unable to do most of the season. So far this year, the Cowboys rank dead last in the league interceptions with four. They do have eight recovered fumbles, but it isn’t enough to make up for the lack of interceptions. The defense needs to start getting the ball back to the offense more often.
This game should provide an opportunity to force turnovers. Mitch Trubisky has not played well at quarterback for the Bears this season. He has only thrown seven interceptions, but when he takes chances, the Cowboys need to make plays on the ball. The Bears also have a rookie running back in David Montgomery, who does have one fumble this season. Dallas needs to start forcing turnovers and this game gives them a chance.