Bears-Cowboys Breakdown

The Bears have done a poor job of protecting rookie Craig Krenzel in the pocket, while the Cowboys are expected to go with a first time starter at quarterback. So look for the running game to be the focal point for each team.

BEARS GAME PLAN
Even against a Cowboys team that has been lousy against the pass, the Bears still want to keep it on the ground as much as possible given rookie QB Craig Krenzel's 11 turnovers in four starts. With Thomas Jones close to 100 percent after missing almost three games with turf toe and struggling last week to find a rhythm, the Bears should have plenty of ground weapons, considering Anthony Thomas played well in Jones' absence.

The defense hopes to get a shot at rookie Drew Henson even though no one will admit they'll operate any differently if Vinny Testaverde is able to play, which appears highly questionable. The Bears have been able to terrorize some inexperienced and immobile quarterbacks recently.

BEARS MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Cowboys RB Julius Jones, whose brother Thomas is the Bears' featured running back, vs. a Bears defense that was gashed for 275 yards by the Colts last week, including 204 by Edgerrin James.

Cowboys DLE Greg Ellis, who leads the team with 6 1/2 sacks, vs. Bears ORT John Tait, who has been a standout on an offensive line that has, for the most part, struggled to provide solid protection for rookie QB Craig Krenzel, who has been sacked 19 times in his four starts.

BEARS INJURY IMPACT
Cornerback Jerry Azumah (side, probable) and guard Ruben Brown (neck, questionable) didn't practice Tuesday, the team's only legitimate day of practice in the short work week.

Azumah is expected to start, but Brown could be replaced by Steve Edwards. Cornerback Charles Tillman (knee, questionable) and safety Bobby Gray (groin, probable) both practiced. Gray is more likely to play because the Bears might want Tillman to have another week of practice before he returns. He hasn't played since Week 2 with a chip fracture of his tibial plateau.

DALLAS GAME PLAN
The Cowboys must establish the run with Julius Jones and take some pressure off of rookie quarterback Drew Henson. They won't be overly conservative with Henson, but they will try to pick their spots in the passing game and not put too much on his shoulders. Defensively, they must stop the run and prevent the big play. Bears quarterback Craig Krenzel is not great, but he will make plays if the Cowboys allow him to be comfortable. You can be certain that the Bears will take four or five shots down the field against the Cowboys' suspect secondary.

DALLAS KEY MATCHUPS
Cowboys guard Andre Gurode vs. Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris -- Harris hasn't put up monster numbers but has proved to be a disruptive force. He often occupies two blockers, which allows his teammates to come in and make plays. Gurode has had a poor season. He must handle Harris with help if the Cowboys hope to have any chance, considering they are starting rookie Drew Henson at quarterback.

Cowboys running Julius Jones vs. Bears running back Thomas Jones -- Yes, they play on the same side of the ball, so they won't exactly be going at each other. But this matchup is something the Jones brothers have dreamed about since rookie Julius was drafted by the Cowboys and the two looked at the NFL schedule. Thomas is the older brother and the more polished runner. He is strong. He has wiggle and a burst. He will be the focal point of the Bears' attack. Julius has a similar running style, though he might be a little faster. He is starting for a second straight week after rushing for 81 yards on 30 carries against the Ravens.

DALLAS INJURY UPDATE
QB Vinny Testaverde is listed as questionable with a sore back and sore shoulder. He is unlikely to start, giving way to Drew Henson against the Bears. He might be relegated to the third quarterback behind Tony Romo. RB Richie Anderson is listed as questionable for the Bears game after suffering a concussion against the Ravens.


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