tony-romo-cowboys-vs-bearsWhat else is new? The Dallas Cowboys once again enter the month of December fighting for the NFC East division crown. It’s been a recurring theme, with the Cowboys collapsing each of the past two seasons.

Since Tony Romo took over as the Cowboys starting quarterback in 2006, he’s gone 11-15 in the season’s final month. Dallas right now, though, has been hot and is seeking to win a season-high three straight games.

The Chicago Bears, meanwhile, continue to fight for its NFC North lives with Jay Cutler still recovering from an ankle injury. Chicago is just one game back of the first-place Detroit Lions, but have lost three of their last four games with Josh McCown behind center.

McCown’s played well though, throwing for nine touchdowns and just one interception in relief. The big questions going into this one are can Josh McCown hold the fort for one more week, and can the Cowboys finally have a successful December?

It all commences on Monday Night.

Here's our Monday night football preview for tonight's Week 14 NFC showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears


tony-romo-cowboys-december-2013The Cowboys offense is as healthy as its been all year.

Miles Austin is finally back in the lineup, and DeMarco Murray is as healthy as he’s been. Dallas ranks 27th in rushing offense, but that ranking is deceiving when Murray is playing.

Tony Romo will have a full array of weapons at his disposal, and when that happens Dallas’s offense can be as dangerous as any in the league. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten have combined for 15 touchdowns, and Cole Beasley and Dwyane Harris are both explosive.

It’s taken a long time, but the Cowboys finally have a balanced offense and aren’t relying on Romo to throw the ball 40-50 times per game lowering his chances of having that game-changing turnover.

Don’t sleep on Josh McCown of the Bears, though, because if you do, he will beat you. McCown’s done much more than hold the fort while Chicago awaits the return of Jay Cutler, as he has accumulated a 103.6 rating his season.

Alshon Jeffrey is coming off his best game of the year where he caught 12 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings. Brandon Marshall has gone for over 100 receiving yards in three of the Bears' last five games.

Matt Forte is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing for the year, but last week was the first time since the first week of November that he eclipsed the 100 yards rushing mark. Chicago will certainly need a big game out of Forte that is expected to be in the low teens at kickoff.

Edge - Cowboys: Dallas’s offense is more balanced, and more unpredictable right now than the Bears. On paper, the edge goes to the Cowboys, but in no way does that mean Tony Romo doesn’t have a typical December game in frigid Soldier Field.


julius-peppers-bears-2013Dallas’s defense under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin has been abysmal this season. Jerry Jones even admitted it was a mistake firing Rob Ryan, with the Cowboys now ranking second-to-last in passing yards allowed, and fifth-worst allowing nearly 127 rushing yards per game.

There is good news though, with star linebacker Sean Lee returning after missing the last two games, and the Cowboys could certainly use him to help slow down Matt Forte. Dallas has to be careful not to take Josh McCown lightly because he’s shown he can get the job done.

Brandon Carr and Orlando Scandrick, with Morris Claiborne out, will have the difficult tasks of trying to slow down Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall.

The Bears defense has had its own problems. Chicago ranks dead-last in the NFL, giving up over 150 rushing yards per game.

Look for Jason Garrett to use a heavy dose of DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar, who’s coming off his best game of the year against the Oakland Raiders on Thanksgiving day. Murray and Dunbar are both averaging over five yards per carry, and the Bears will once again be without Lance Briggs.

If Chicago has plans on slowing down Tony Romo, Julius Peppers and company have to make him as uncomfortable as possible. The Bears have recorded just 24 sacks this season, and Romo will shred them if he has time in the pocket.

Edge - Neither: Neither of these match-ups are particularly favorable for either defense. Chicago can’t stop the run and DeMarco Murray is poised to have a monster game. The Cowboys… well they can’t do anything right defensively.

Special Teams

devin-hester-of-the-chicago-bears-returns-a-puntKickers: Dan Bailey vs. Robbie Gould
Punters: Chris Jones vs. Adam Podlesh
Return Men: Dwyane Harris vs. Devin Hester

With the Bears' playoff hopes hanging in the balance, Robbie Gould chose a bad time to have the worst game of his season last week against the Vikings. Gould missed two of his three field goal attempts on the season, including a potential game-winning 47-yard kick in overtime.

Dan Bailey, on the other hand, has been scorching hot for the Cowboys and he hasn’t missed a kick since September.

In the punting game, Cowboys punter Chris Jones has the stronger leg averaging four more yards per punt than his counterpart Adam Podlesh. But while Podlesh’s leg isn’t as strong, he’s only punted one ball into the end zone this season. Jones has 5 touchbacks in comparison.

In the return game, both Dwayne Harris and Devin Hester have one return touchdown on the season. As everyone knows in the NFL, Hester is the greatest return man to ever do it with 18 career return touchdowns. Harris has just two in the past three years, though.

Edge - Cowboys: It usually takes a little bit of time for kickers to get out of cold streaks, and Robbie Gould could very well likely be in a mental funk right now after what happened last week. That’s why the special teams edge for this game belongs to the Cowboys.


Cowboys-vs-BearsThe Cowboys are playing their best football of the year and everyone is back healthy. Plus, give me Tony Romo over Josh McCown at quarterback. Hence, I'm picking Dallas over Chicago in tonight's game.

Cowboys 21, Bears 20


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