No Ezekiel Elliott? The Dallas Cowboys offense exploded thanks to big games from Tony Pollard and Dak Prescott in a 49-29 win over the Chicago Bears.
The high-scoring affair was filled with firsts for this Cowboys team. Some were good and some were bad:
- Dallas’ highest-scoring game this season
- First time since 2014 the Cowboys scored touchdowns on its four opening offensive possessions
- First touchdown of Micah Parsons’ career
- Most single-game touchdowns by Pollard (3)
- Bryan Anger’s 83-yard punt was the longest in franchise history
- Most points Dallas has allowed this season
- Most rushing yards allowed by the Cowboys this year (240)
You’d think Pollard’s 131 rushing yards would be the most in his career. He actually ran for that same total as a rookie in a victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
Here’s what happened in the game that allowed those season highlights and lowlights to happen:
The Tony Pollard game
Pollard had the best game of his career. Elliott sat due to a knee injury that isn’t considered serious.
Pollard averaged 9.4 yards per carry, rushing 14 times for 131 yards and three touchdowns. He split carries with rookie Malik Davis who got eight touches for 23 yards.
Prescott got in on the action, too. QB1 had 34 rushing yards and ran in a score. Most of his yardage came on a QB sneak that was poorly defended by the Bears:
Prescott also had a big day passing, completing 77% of his throws for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Dak picked Chicago’s defensive backs apart and outside of one interception, played a perfect game.
Justin Fields gave the defense headaches
It wasn’t all positives from the game. This was the worst performance we’ve seen from the defense, allowing 371 yards of total offense.
Dallas’ defensive line did a good job applying pressure, sacking Fields four times. But the former Ohio State Buckeye was able to avoid some sacks and turn them into big plays with his feet.
As a team, the Bears ran for 240 yards. Leading the way was Khalil Herbert with 99 yards, followed by 60 yards from Fields.
Stopping the run continues to be a problem for the Cowboys.
It wasn’t all negatives from the defense. They did a good job of limiting Fields as a passer, allowing just 151 yards through the air. Parsons made this heads up play, realizing he wasn’t touched down and returning a David Montgomery fumble for a score:
Dallas was decimated by injuries
The Cowboys were without a handful of starters due to injury:
- Elliott (knee)
- Noah Brown (foot)
- Sam Williams (knee)
- Malik Hooker (hamstring)
Parsons only took 72% of the Cowboys defensive snaps because he’s been banged up with various injuries through the first eight games of the season.
Dallas’ Week 9 bye is coming at the perfect time for players to recover and get healthy for the remainder of the year.