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Like Bears, Cowboys plagued by miscues

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Bears coach Lovie Smith watched the Dallas Cowboys' 13-7 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday night, and interestingly the teams debuted with similar performances.

The obvious difference is despite several mistakes -- which included four turnovers -- the Bears pulled out a victory over the Detroit Lions in their opener. Dallas, meanwhile, lost as a direct result of its miscues, as a holding penalty on Alex Barron negated Tony Romo’s game-winning touchdown pass to Roy Williams on the final play.

“Overall, they moved the ball, had a lot of yardage,” Smith said of the Cowboys. “Some critical mistakes really hurt them, right up until that last play of the game. Defensively, I thought they played well throughout.”

The observation sounds similar to Chicago’s debut. Both games came down to calls at the end, with the Bears profiting from a replay on what appeared to be a touchdown by Calvin Johnson, and the Cowboys suffering from a penalty on Barron’s blatant hold of Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo.

“Typical NFC East game for them,” Smtih said. “Hard fought, right up until the end. [There’s] not a big difference between the top team and the worst team in the league. You have to work to get a win each week. Washington made enough plays to win.”

Smith said the Bears see “signs” of “what we could be”, but he’d like to see the club eliminate some of the mistakes that plagued it against the Lions.

“There was so much you take away from it,” Smith said. “Offensively, we were able to move the football, and I’m just talking throughout. A lot of guys were a part of that. At the same time, seeing what we can be, eliminating those turnovers that we talked about. We had some situations come up where we could have gotten some breathing room for our team. So I’m looking forward to this next week of improving on those things and seeing where we can go. What you want to get from this game, you want to see signs of [potential], which we saw. You want to get a win as much as anything.”

The Bears accomplished that goal, and set their sights on Sunday’s road matchup in Texas against the reeling Cowboys.

On the defense for the better part of his session with the media on Monday due to a couple of questionable decisions he made in the game, Smith emphatically backed the rule that essentially robbed Johnson of what clearly appeared to be the game-winning TD for the Lions in the game’s final minute. Smith actually displayed some surliness when pressed about whether he supported the rule.

“I like all the rules that we agreed on as the National Football League. We’ve been on the other side of that rule before,” Smith said. “So to me, you can’t really get too caught up into those kinds of things. They go both ways. You have rules, you go by them. The officials, you know, make calls based on that -- cut and dry.”

But is it a good rule?

“Yes, I’m saying that that’s the rule we have in place,” Smith said. “Yes, all the rules we have in place right now are good rules. We’ve all thought about those rules, and we’ve all been in agreement on those rules. I understand what you’re asking. But I’m saying, yes, I’m in total agreement with that rule like the other rules we have.”