Cowboys - Bears News & Notes

-- RB Eddie George said he's not surprised that the Cowboys have decided to make rookie Julius Jones the starter full-time.

"After last week, the hand writing was on the wall," George said.

George, who never felt as if he got a chance to do what he does best, accepts the move because he is a professional.

"It's never easy to go from a starter to a backup," George said. "It's definitely difficult. It's a new situation for me, not starting. But I am willing to do whatever is best for the team. I have to accept it."

George said he will help Jones any way he can.

-- RB Julius Jones surprised Cowboys fans -- and silenced doubters - - by rushing 30 times for 81 yards in his first career start Sunday in a 30-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

He will hold onto the starting job Thursday against the Chicago Bears, provided he's in sound condition after taking on such a heavy load against the Ravens.

"I think he will (start) if he's feeling pretty good," head coach Bill Parcells said. "He had a pretty good load yesterday. I told him I thought he did a good job competing and fighting, and I never got the sense that he was looking to get out of the game or anything. I really was pleased with him about that."

Jones' 16 carries in the first half were the third-highest total by a Cowboys running back in an entire game this season. Eddie George, who rushed for five yards on a season-low three carries, had 18 carries against Cleveland and 31 against Detroit last month.

"It wasn't perfect," Parcells said of Jones's performance. "He missed a couple reads, and he's got to work on his blocking, too. But just overall for the first time -- like I said, he didn't get a whole lot of help -- I thought he did all right."

By "help," Parcells likely was alluding to his offensive line, which stalled drives with missed assignments and untimely penalties. Left tackle Flozell Adams, a Pro Bowl selection last season, was flagged for three false starts.

But Jones' 30 carries temporarily quelled any doubts about his durability after the rookie missed the last seven games with a fractured shoulder blade suffered in Week 2 against Cleveland. Jones also missed the season opener against Minnesota with bruised ribs.

"I think the week of practice went well for me," Jones said. "I went out and I was obviously a little bit fresher than everybody else. I hadn't played in eight or nine weeks. I came out and ran hard and felt quick and fast and felt my endurance was pretty well. So they put me out there, and obviously they felt that I was ready to go."

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.

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.

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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