Cowboys vs. Bears 2013: Dallas defense is 'on its last legs'

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys defense was unable to force a single turnover or punt in a 45-28 loss on Monday night.

The Dallas Cowboys were easily handled by the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football which only helped to further the narrative that the team struggles to get the job done in December. Defensively, the Cowboys allowed 490 yards of total offense and were unable to force a single turnover or punt in the 45-28 dismantling.

On paper, it appeared as though, the Cowboys shredded the Bears defense with the rushing combination of DeMarco Murray and Joseph Randle, who tallied 199 yards rushing on 27 combined carries. However, Steven Schweickert of SB Nation's Bears blog, Windy City Gridiron, was puzzled by the team's lack of commitment to the run:

Any time Tony Romo dropped back to throw, it feels like the Bears got a gift of a free down. When the Cowboys abandoned the run game down by 13, they lost their offensive threat. Expect teams in the future to not let off the run game gas, no matter what. There's a reason this team's given up six straight 100-yard individual rushers. And funny how as soon as they start running the ball again for mercy, they score another touchdown. Dallas ran for 7.1 per carry. Why are you passing at all?

Ultimately though, the struggle for the Cowboys boiled down to a defense that couldn't force a single stop all game. While the Dallas offense ranks third in the NFL in points scored, no team in the NFL has allowed more points.

With the playoffs still very much a reality, Dave Halprin of SB Nation's Cowboys blog, Blogging The Boys, says that the team will have to rely on plenty of points on the offense down the stretch if they hope to rebound from the Monday loss:

The Cowboys defense appears to be on its last legs. They have tried repeatedly to get by with an assortment of street free-agents and continually injured stars, but against the Bears it all fell apart. It's hard to say with any sense of confidence that it can be repaired, the Cowboys hopes likely ride on the offense just outscoring their opponents.

The Cowboys will next travel back home to play host to the Green Bay Packers, while the Bears will play the first of back-to-back home games with a trip to face the Cleveland Browns.

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