Five Things to Watch Sunday

Bear Report is covering the prime time matchup in Week 3 between the Bears and Cowboys at Soldier Field in Chicago, and here are the top five things to be on the lookout for that could have a major effect on the final score.

1. Is Romo's elusiveness in the pocket going to be a problem?
Nobody's ever going to confuse Tony Romo with a running quarterback like Vince Young of the Texans, but the Dallas gunslinger is light on his feet in the pocket and throws the ball on the run quite effectively. Romo has only been sacked twice in two games, yet he'll face a much tougher challenge on Sunday against a Bears defense that's come up with seven QB takedowns already. DT Tommie Harris looks every bit as good as before coming back from last season's torn hamstring – two sacks against Kansas City was proof of that – but won't be chasing a statue like Damon Huard anymore.

Romo has a sizzling passer rating of 119.3 so far and doesn't necessarily need a lot of time from his offensive line to make big plays, so Harris and Co. need to get to him quickly and put him on the turf in order to help protect their secondary.

2. Can Benson have another big day on the ground?
Cedric Benson took some major heat in the media after his lackluster 42-yard effort in Week 1 against the Chargers, but he came back strong in Week 2 against the Chiefs with 101 yards on 24 carries. The numbers say the Cowboys are 11th in the NFL against the run and surrendering only 92.5 yards per game, but they've also had big leads in both of their victories and been forcing their opponents to throw the ball quite often. Dallas is actually allowing 4.3 yards per carry, just 22nd in the league and further evidence that Benson can do some damage on the ground.

QB Rex Grossman will always get the majority of the praise and the majority of the criticism no matter how the Chicago offense performs, but Benson's ability to control the clock and move the chains in the running game is what will really make or break this team.

3. Will Tillman follow Owens all over the field?

CB Charles Tillman
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The overwhelming majority of the time, cornerback Charles Tillman occupies the left side of the field while his counterpart, Nathan Vasher, lines up on the right. However, that routine was thrown out the window against the Giants last season in Week 10 because of the presence of Plaxico Burress, one of the biggest and most physical receivers in the league. Tillman covered the 6'5" Burress almost exclusively in that 38-20 Bears victory, holding him to just four catches for 48 yards.

Terrell Owens may not be as big as Burress but he's every bit as physical, so look for Tillman to mirror him on the other side of the formation on most every snap leaving Vasher to deal with the likes of Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd.

4. When will Moose be a part of the game plan again?
Muhsin Muhammad has been a Bear for two seasons, leading the team in catches and receiving yards both times. However, he's only caught two passes for 15 yards so far this year and doesn't seem to be getting very many looks from Grossman in the passing game. It was no secret that Bernard Berrian, who appears to be on the verge of his first 1,000-yard campaign, was going to assume the role as the primary weapon, but Muhammad was voted a team captain on offense and is still capable of being a reliable possession target.

CB Terence Newman is listed as questionable on the injury report and S Roy Williams is not a very good player in coverage down the field, so there will certainly be opportunities for Grossman to make some plays through the air.

5. Who will slow down Marion the Barbarian?
Julius Jones is technically still the starting tailback in Big D, but Marion Barber has emerged as one of the most dangerous running and receiving threats in the NFL. The Bears have proven to have a brutally tough rush defense, ranking fourth in the league at 73.5 yards allowed per game and pretty much shutting down both LaDainian Tomlinson and Larry Johnson on the ground so far. But Barber, who has a nose for the end zone, has hit paydirt in 13 of his last 17 games and already scored three touchdowns this season on only 25 carries.

The Monsters of the Midway showed last week that they can still shut down the run even without S Mike Brown in the lineup, but the dual threat of Jones and Barber will pose a different kind of threat.

John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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