Off their disappointing loss at Washington on Sunday night, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys come home this week as big NFL odds favorites in their battle with the Chicago Bears.
The Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears are the two most overrated public teams in the NFL.
The good news is one of them has to cover the spread when they meet on Sunday afternoon (1 p.m. ET, FOX) at Cowboys Stadium. Barring a push, of course.
Dallas is more overvalued than Chicago is in this regard, and it has the backers to prove it. But the Bears have a lot more to be happy about coming out of Week 1.
Look, Chicago (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) was very pedestrian in its 19-14 shading of Detroit at Soldier Field on Sunday. You all know by now: The Bears needed a strict interpretation of one of the most awful rules in the NFL to get past the Lions.
Calvin Johnson’s last-minute touchdown should have stood, or at the very least, the rule that overturned his score should be scrapped from the books.
Chicago got lucky against a bad team, and to one that lost starting quarterback Matt Stafford to a separated shoulder late in the first half. Detroit led 14-3 at the time of Stafford’s departure and didn’t score with Shaun Hill under center in the second half.
That said, the overall numbers didn’t do the Bears justice – at least in some respects. Chicago held Detroit to only 20 rushing yards, outgained it 463-168, and recovered two fumbles. Jay Cutler was a solid 23-of-35 for 372 with two touchdowns and an interception.
Problem was, the Bears lost three fumbles of their own – including two from Cutler himself – and took nine penalties for 100 yards. Cutler was sacked four times behind an offensive line that’ll get run over by the Cowboys’ pass rush if it doesn’t shape up.
Chicago will meet another Jekyll-and-Hyde team when it hits the field against Dallas (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS). The Cowboys, for all their talent, are the NFL’s kings of mind-boggling plays and stupid penalties. That’s what squares forget about Dallas when they look at it on paper.
Tony Romo and the Cowboys’ offense snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in their frustrating 13-7 loss to Washington (+3½) in the Sunday nighter. It was a classic Romo game: Nice stat line (31-of-47, 282 yards, TD), but he failed to truly lead his team when it mattered.
Yes, Romo found Roy Williams in the back of the end zone as time expired, but he only got off the throw after offensive lineman Alex Barron essentially put Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Dream on Redskins’ pass rusher Brian Orakpo. Barron was flagged for Dallas’ 12th penalty of the game, and Washington escaped with the payday.
Like the Bears, the Cowboys owned the game, but couldn’t get out of their own way. Dallas didn’t allow an offensive touchdown in the McNabb-Shanahan debut, but penalties along with Tashard Choice’s fumble at the end of the first half that was recovered for a score did it in.
With all of this considered, I don’t know how you take the Cowboys at -8½ or -9 against the Bears. You just can’t trust this team after what we saw against the Redskins. The total for Sunday’s matchup is on the NFL betting odds board at 40½ or 41 depending on the outlet.
Even if Wade Phillips cleans up the penalties and the mistakes, that doesn’t take Barron out of the lineup. Tackle Marc Colombo is uncertain for Sunday’s game as he continues to recover from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery, while tackle Sam Young (sprained eight MCL), and guard Kyle Kosier (knee) are also uncertain.
DeMarcus Ware, Dallas’ best defensive player, left Sunday’s game with a strained neck, but it’s not expected to keep him out of the lineup against Chicago. Hunter Hillenmeyer (illness) is expected to be listed as questionable for the Bears, who are only 2-5 SU and ATS in their last seven games against the Cowboys.
Not that Hillenmeyer needs to rush back to action. Brian Urlacher was second on the team with eight tackles in his return to duty against Detroit, while new addition Julius Peppers delivered the sack than sent Stafford out of the game.