9:43 AM EDT, October 1, 2012
You know what’s worse than the Bears’ offensive line? The Cowboys’ offensive line, that’s what.
Hard to believe, I know. It’s not often the Bears' offensive line stinks less than the opponent’s, but just look:
The Cowboys came out of last week tied for last in scoring in the NFL and in sole possession of first place for false starts.
Congratulations, kids. Here’s your prize: a custom yellow flag suitable for wiping Jerry Jones’ glasses.
Individually, Dallas left tackle Tyron Smith began the week ranked atop the false-start standings and was embarrassed by Giants right end Jason Pierre-Paul in the opener.
I believe J’Marcus Webb is getting jealous.
In fact, there was a rumor that Webb was taking a break from his T-shirt hawking to work on jumping the snap count.
But wait. There’s more. Dallas right tackle Doug Free is right behind his teammate in false starts, and together, the Cowboys tackles have combined for 12 penalties.
If you closed your eyes, you’d think you were talking about the Bears, and you still might be Tuesday morning, but not for now.
Without starting center Phil Costa, the Cowboys start journeyman Ryan Cook, who doesn’t project to be as fast as Bears defensive linemen. The Dallas line already has proven to be so leaky that quarterback Tony Romo got pummeled by Tampa Bay while Cowboys running backs were stopped for losses eight times by the Bucs.
Gruesome, no? Geez, you’d think Chris Williams was starting down there.
After three games, the Bears led the league with 14 sacks, so Monday night’s game seems to be where Julius Peppers clinches another Pro Bowl and Henry Melton becomes a “that guy’’ for Jon Gruden.
I mean, this seems too easy. Shea McClellin, say hello to Football America. Israel Idonije, meet your new contract.
I know that Romo has good pocket elusiveness, but I’m betting that the Bears’ defensive line turns Dallas into “Big D-O-A.’’
The problem, of course, is that a Bad cowboys offensive line doesn’t magically make the Bears’ offensive line good. The Bears’ offensive line remains a problem in pass protection. It will become a crime scene if J’Marcus Webb doesn’t get regular help against DeMarcus Ware.
That’s a good reason to run the ball, whether Matt Forte is healthy or Michael Bush starts. Let a bad offensive line push forward because it will be moving backward soon enough, whether by false start, holding penalty or sack.
To recap, the Dallas offensive line is bad, while the Bears defensive line is scary. The Bears’ offensive line is bad, while the Cowboys defensive line is scary. So, as I channel my inner Tom Skilling, the forecast for Monday night is ugly.
Running backs could retire. Quarterbacks could die. This could look worse than Jerry Jones’ face work.
That’s why I see this as a close game: Bears, 4-2.
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