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.)