Sunday, September 19, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Bears 27, Cowboys 20
By Matt Mosley
ARLINGTON, Texas -- If Dallas Cowboys fans haven't panicked yet about the 2010 season, now's as good a time as any. You expected them to be a desperate team after a season-opening loss to the Redskins, but it was the Chicago Bears who played with the greater sense of urgency Sunday in a 27-20 road victory. And it's hard to choose between Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett in this one, so we might as well pile on both of them.
What it means: The Cowboys' 2010 season is firmly on the brink. Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz made key adjustments after the Cowboys' pass-rush was destroying his offensive line and Dallas never recovered. Quarterback Jay Cutler used swing passes and quick slants to soften up the Cowboys before hitting Johnny Knox on a deep ball. Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins, who was injured in the fourth quarter, was beaten a 59-yard pass by Knox in the first half. Jenkins jumped up and pointed toward safety Gerald Sensabaugh, indicating that he was supposed to help out. It's just the start of a full week of finger-pointing.
Tomorrow's talker: The fact that the Cowboys' vaunted defense was shredded by Cutler and a nondescript group of wide receivers. Safety Alan Ball was exposed in coverage, allowing Greg Olsen to break free for a touchdown in the first half. And that was just the start of things. Phillips and Garrett were both outclassed in this game. It's looking like everyone overrated the Cowboys and they could be staring at an 0-4 start. It's not like the schedule gets any easier.
Goat: Too many to really single anyone out. It didn't help that kicker David Buehler missed a 44-yard field goal, but I still think the Bears would've responded with a touchdown drive if he'd nailed it. Let's single out Jenkins for letting Knox get behind him in the first half and Terence Newman for missing a tackle that allowed the Bears to set up the game-sealing touchdown pass.
What I didn't like: Pretty much everything. Why was Garrett running the ball on second-and-10 all the time? Is he not allowed to run on first down? In the first half, Marion Barber had some momentum in the running game, so he was removed from that series in favor of Felix Jones. I'm not sure what's wrong with Jones. Is the weight catching up to him? Didn't look fast at all and he looked tentative at the line of scrimmage. This is not a good football team.
What's next: The Cowboys will be a team under siege this week. All the Super Bowl talk looks ridiculous now that we've seen them for two weeks. They'll go into Houston next week as a big-time underdog.