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Finding a Quarterback: The Upside of Tony Romo

| January 19th, 2017

Five passes.

That’s all we have to judge Tony Romo on from the 2016 season. Five passes. But they just might be enough.

Ryan Pace and John Fox are feeling the pressure to win now and they may have a chance to sign a quarterback who was considered among the best in the league for a decade. Even with Romo’s injury history, it’s something Pace and Fox are going to consider.

The thing about those five passes is they were all really good. They were sharp and on the money. One was a 15-yard spiral on third-and-11. Another was a deep pass that would’ve been a touchdown if not for an interference penalty. Romo finished his only drive of the season with a beautifully accurate touchdown pass, displaying a touch that very few quarterbacks have. Romo looked very much like the guy who probably should have won the 2014 MVP award.

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Across The Middle — It’s Finally Over

| January 5th, 2017

After the worst season in terms of total losses in franchise history, the Bears should have one mission this offseason: find a quarterback.

Two weeks ago, I cited John Fox’s record without Peyton Manning as a reason to fire him. Here’s the counter argument: Fox won almost 80 percent of games when he did have a franchise quarterback. I don’t know how much credit Fox deserves for his time with Manning (a former Broncos player once told me Manning ran the whole show), but I do know that a great quarterback changes everything.

Guys like Jack Del Rio and Mike Mularkey have job security solely because their teams have good, young quarterbacks. The Cowboys went from 4-12 to 13-3 largely because they upgraded from the likes of Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel to Dak Prescott. Mike McCarthy was getting fired two months ago but he’s now preparing for a playoff game because Aaron Rodgers put his team on his back.

It takes more than a great quarterback. The Colts continue to prove that. But the Bears have a good system in place and the kind of supporting cast that would be favorable for any quarterback to step into.

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Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears Game Thread Featuring Three Final Thoughts

| December 4th, 2014

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Three Final Thoughts

(1) I was once, as a younger man, in New Orleans for Halloween with the great Lou Casillas and a reverend who used to spend some time around here. New Orleans for any night is the greatest party of your life but on Halloween its a special party. In my infinite wisdom I booked a flight back to New York early the next morning – the worst morning of my life. That was a Saturday. I returned to my friend Lou’s apartment and fell fast asleep, at 3 pm, in the same clothes I’d flown in. Sunday morning I awoke to the knowledge of the Bears playing the Detroit Lions, realized I’d need to be in a bar to watch it and thought, “Ugh.” That was the last time BEFORE THIS MORNING I felt that way the morning of a Bears game.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Game Preview Addendum Edition!

| December 3rd, 2014

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Thursday Night Will Test Bears Rush Defense

This space has mentioned often of late the Bears climb in the defensive rankings from 32nd in 2013 to 12th in 2014 against the run. It is the most significant improvement of this year’s team, owed to a much improved defensive line. Per the great Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News:

…this December has a chance to be different because the Cowboys are equipped to play a game they haven’t known since the Super Bowl era.

When the weather turns in December — the cold blows in, the wind kicks up and moisture thickens the air — you need to run the football.

The Jimmy Johnson Cowboys ran the ball in December in carving a place in history as the NFL’s team of the 1990s. From 1992-95, when the Cowboys appeared in four NFC title games and won three Super Bowls, they ran the ball almost 52 percent of the time in the month of December.

The Jason Garrett Cowboys have run the ball only 41 percent of the time in the final month of the season in his four seasons.

Sure, the Cowboys had both the best running back and best offensive line in the NFL during their Super Bowl era. Emmitt Smith won three NFL rushing titles from 1992-95, and the Cowboys sent six different blockers to Pro Bowls.

And that’s why there is hope for December 2014. The Cowboys again have arguably the best running back and offensive line in the NFL.

Even though the Bears secondary has been a disgrace in 2014 I expect the Cowboys to put this game on Demarco Murray’s shoulders to avoid putting it on Tony Romo’s back. Can the Bears defense hold up? (I’m actually borderline interested in this result.)

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Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears Game Preview

| December 2nd, 2014

This is normally the part of the Game Preview where I state the reasons why not to like the Chicago Bears in the coming week. Then I ask…

Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week? (And then I answer…)

I always like the Chicago Bears.

SO WHAT’S THE WEATHER?

It is supposed to be in the low 30s Thursday in Chicago, getting colder as the night progresses. (I believe this is how it works almost every day.) The way I see it, this is the Bears only advantage over the Dallas Cowboys.

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