ARLINGTON -- Rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott carried the Dallas Cowboys to a 31-17 win over the Chicago Bears Sunday night at AT&T Stadium. The win moves Dallas to 2-1 on the season and drops the Bears to their second straight season with an 0-3 start.
"With Dak playing the way he is and with (Tony) Romo coming along strong and with (Mark Sanchez) here, I feel that's one of our strongest positions,'' said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in the postgame locker room, trying to calm "Dak vs. Romo'' talk before it can even begin.
But Prescott looked the part of a seven-year veteran far more so than Chicago quarterback Brian Hoyer, who went 30/49 for 317 yards and two touchdowns and a lost fumble. Prescott, rookie fourth-rounder out of Mississippi State, went 19/24 for 248 yards and a touchdown (the first of his career). He also rushed four times for 36 yards and a 1-yard quarterback sneak to give Dallas a 7-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Ezekiel Elliott proved his fumbling problems from last week stayed in Washington. On the first play of the game, the fourth overall pick galloped for 21 yards, finishing with 140 yards on 30 carries. Reserve running backs Alfred Morris had five carries for 19 yards and a touchdown, and Lance Dunbar had one carry for a 1-yard touchdown, the first of his career.
But Zeke was the headliner here with the first of what figure to be many 100-yard games.
"I was just letting them know,'' Elliott said of his all-night-long hand gestures, as if he was eating with a spoon from a bowl, "I got a little bit of momentum, keep feeding me the rock."
Dallas got a scare from its receiving corps on the first drive of the game as Dez Bryant left the game with an apparent knee injury. Bryant underwent an X-ray last night and will have an MRI today. (As will La'el Collins on his foot/toe.) Cole Beasley took a big shot from Bears defensive back Adrian Amos on third-and-9 that sent Beasley into the concussion protocol. Both receivers returned to the game with Bryant catching three passes for 40 yards and a 17-yard touchdown while Beasley caught seven passes for 73 yards.
But the Dez thing is something we will monitor closely.
Terrance Williams gained 88 yards on four receptions, but the four-year pro out of Baylor, who was not targeted at all last week in Washington, was not seen the rest of the night after losing a fumble on a 47-yard reception.
Left tackle Tyron Smith was a scratch as back tightness in pregame warm-ups prevented him from suiting up. Second-year tackle Chaz Green out of Florida started in Smith's place. The rushing game gained 474 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries, but Green had four penalties called and three accepted filling in for the six-year All-Pro Smith.
Bears coach John Fox, who hoped to avoid an 0-3 start for the fourth time in his career, elected to leave everything on the table at AT&T Stadium. After trimming into the Cowboys 17-3 lead with a 34-yard Connor Barth field goal, Fox called for an onside kick. Given Fox was trying to get momentum, it was probably a good decision. The problem was the execution as linebacker Jonathan Anderson was offsides during the onside attempt, forcing Chicago to re-kick. The Cowboys took the air out of the ball as they ran a 12-play, 73-yard drive that melted 7:09 off the clock, culminating in a 3-yard Alfred Morris touchdown run.
The Cowboys sit at 2-1 for the sixth straight time since 2011, the year head coach Jason Garrett took over on a full-time basis. Dallas is tied with the Giants for second place in the division as the Eagles beat Pittsburgh 34-3 to earn a 3-0 mark for September.
“It feels good,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said of the victory, Dallas' first at home in a year, breaking an NFL-worst eight-game streak. “Like I told you guys last week, each week is its own challenge. We’ve got great fans; we’ve got great support. We’ve just got to find ways to win those games. So to get back, win at home, get some home-field advantage has been good to get to 2-1.”
Dak Prescott rushes for a 1-yard touchdown with 9:45 to go in the first quarter. 7-0 Cowboys
Dan Bailey nails a 49-yard field goal with 1:59 in the first quarter. 10-0 Cowboys
Lance Dunbar scores a 1-yard touchdown with 11:16 to go in the second quarter. 17-0 Cowboys
Connor Barth hits a 34-yard field goal with 7:52 to go in the second quarter. 17-3 Cowboys
Alfred Morris rushes for a 3-yard touchdown with 0:38 in the second quarter. 24-3 Cowboys
Zach Miller catches a 2-yard touchdown pass from Brian Hoyer with 7:14 in the third quarter. 24-10 Cowboys
Dez Bryant catches a 17-yard touchdown from Dak Prescott with 9:02 in the fourth quarter. 31-10 Cowboys
Zach Miller catches a 6-yard touchdown from Brian Hoyer with 6:28 in the fourth quarter. 31-17 Cowboys
* The Cowboys have four different ballcarriers having scored rushing touchdowns this season. In 2015, they only had three (Joe Randle, Darren McFadden, Robert Turbin).
* Terrance Williams' lost fumble was his first since Nov. 28, 2013 when he fumbled a 29-yard kickoff return against the Raiders that was scooped up for a touchdown on the opening kickoff.
* Dez Bryant's 17-yard touchdown catch was his 60th career touchdown and was Dak Prescott's first-ever TD pass.
* The Cowboys defense's streak of getting a sack ended at 11 games. The Bears going into Sunday night were tied with the Bengals for the most surrendered with eight.
* The last time a Cowboys rookie carried the ball 30 or more times was Julius Jones on Nov. 21, 2004 when Dallas lost in Baltimore 30-10.
* Prescott set a record for the best passer rating by a Cowboys starting quarterback with 123.6.
* The last time a left tackle other than Tyron Smith started for the Cowboys was on Jan. 2, 2012 at the New York Giants. The quarterback, Tony Romo, was sacked six times. Prescott was not sacked tonight.
THE FINAL WORD
THE FINAL WORD
The Cowboys saved the TD ball for Dak, but he seemed only half-interested. "I plan on getting many more. We (he and Dez) might cut it in half or something."null