Bears Game Day: Bears 2-0 after upset of Cowboys
Sunday, September 19, 2021 6:19 PM

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(Source: Chicago Tribune)By Brad Biggs and Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune

Sept. 19--By Brad Biggs and Fred Mitchell

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Bears hoped to prove they were ready for prime time by winning what general manager Jerry Angelo called a "statement" game Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Bears play in prime time the next two weeks, starting with a "Monday Night Football" meeting with the Packers and then a trip to the new Meadowlands Stadium to face the New York Giants. They wanted to demonstrate their worthiness with an upset victory over the Cowboys.

"It would be a statement game, obviously, because of the opponent and you are playing on the road," Angelo said on the team's pregame show on WBBM-AM 780.

The Bears made a convincing statement, upsetting the Cowboys 27-20 to improve their record to 2-0. Jay Cutler tossed three touchdown passes and young cornerback D.J. Moore had two interceptions as the Bears sent the highly touted Cowboys to an 0-2 start to the season.

Cutler completed 21 of 29 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns and a 136.7 passer rating.

The Bears grabbed an early 3-0 lead on a 38-yard Robbie Gould field goal after taking advantage of a Dallas turnover. The Cowboys went up 7-3 with 2:44 left in the first period when rookie Dez Bryant returned a Brad Maynard punt 62 yards for a touchdown. Bears rookie safety Major Wright injured his hamstring on the play and was ruled out for the game.

The Bears quickly regained the lead when Cutler found tight end Greg Olsen open over the middle on a quick pass. Exploiting man-to-man coverage, Olsen sprinted 39 yards for the score. Gould's kick made it 10-7 with 1:09 left and that's where it stood after one quarter.

The see-saw contest saw the Cowboys regain the lead 14-10 when Tony Romo passed one yard to Chris Gronkowski for a touchdown to cap a 13-play, 73-yard drive with 8:16 left in the second quarter.

Cutler then hooked up with Johnny Knox on a 59-yard pass play on a third-and-15 situation from the Bears' 21. The Bears capitalized with an 11-yard TD pass from Cutler to Devin Hester, who made a spectacular one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone. The Cowboys challenged the call, questioning whether Hester maintained control of the ball inbounds after initially bobbling the ball. The ruling on the field was confirmed and the Bears took a 17-14 lead with 3:38 left until halftime.

The Bears thwarted a Cowboys drive late in the second period when Moore recorded his second interception. Romo's pass deflected off the hands of tight end Jason Witten and into the hands of Moore, who returned it 20 yards to the Cowboys' 47.

The Bears went for it on fourth down at the Cowboys' 24-yard line. Cutler's quarterback sneak netted a first down, but three pass plays fell incomplete. Gould then boomed a 40-yard field goal to give the Bears a 20-14 halftime lead.

David Buehler kicked a 28-yard field goal early in the third period to pull Dallas within 20-17. The opening drive of the second half covered 56 yards in eight plays.

The Bears widened their lead to 27-17 on a three-yard TD pass from Cutler to Matt Forte with 5:20 remaining. Dallas drew within 27-20 on another Buehler field goal with 1:17 left.

The Bears had 175 total yards by halftime. Cutler completed 12 of 18 first-half passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns and a 132.4 passer rating. Romo connected on 13 of 20 passes for 117 yards. He had two interceptions and a TD by intermission. His passer rating was 57.7. Yet Dallas owned the first-half time of possession: 16 minutes, 43 seconds to the Bears' 13:17. The Bears had just 19 first-half rushing yards.

Knox returned the opening deep kickoff 42 yards to the Bears' 37. On second down, Cutler was sacked for a 7-yard loss by Anthony Spencer. The officials missed an obvious facemask call against Spencer on the play.

The Bears grabbed a turnover with 10:09 left in the first period. Moore picked off a pass intended for Miles Austin after the Cowboys' receiver caught a pass from Romo. The fumble was forced by Charles Tillman. The Bears took over at the Dallas 23 after a 19-yard return by Moore.

The drive, which included Cutler being under constant duress from the Cowboys' defensive line, resulted in the field goal by Gould for a 3-0 Bears lead.

Devin Aromashodu was playing on the kickoff-coverage team, his role on offense possibly reduced because of drops during the season opener.

Meanwhile, Bears left tackle Chris Williams was led to the locker room after suffering a leg injury. The Bears moved Frank Omiyale over to left tackle after Kevin Shaffer picked up two early penalties, with Shaffer moving to the right side.

Linebacker Nick Roach, who has been sidelined with a right hamstring injury, and defensive tackle Marcus Harrison were among the inactives for the Bears.


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