Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has guided the Dallas Cowboys to a 1-1 start after playing a pair of tough division rivals. He'll have the opportunity to show what he can do and push the Cowboys to the happy side of .500 when a flagging Chicago Bears defense travels to Texas for Sunday Night Football.
Prescott was thrust into the starting lineup after Tony Romo broke a bone in his back in preseason action. The former Mississippi State passer has been solid in his team's conservative offense, completing nearly 63 percent of his throws and averaging more than 250 yards per game. Despite those solid numbers, he has yet to throw a touchdown pass and currently averages only 6.9 yards per pass attempt.
He appeared more confident in Week 2, when he carved up Washington's secondary to the tune of 292 yards on 28 passes. He also scored on a rushing touchdown in the Cowboys' win.
If the first-year quarterback can keep his momentum moving forward, he'll be due for a big night against the Bears. Chicago has been stingy in its passing defense (currently ranked sixth in the NFL), but it's also developed an early-season habit of affording emerging young quarterbacks success.
Houston Texans passer Brock Osweiler threw for 231 yards and a pair of touchdowns over the Bears in Week 1. Eight days later, rookie Carson Wentz gained 190 yards through the air and added a touchdown to drop Chicago to 0-2 on the season.
Prescott will be the most prolific passer the Bears have seen this season, and that could mean trouble for a secondary that may be without starting cornerback Kyle Fuller.
The Cowboys stabilized their ship after losing their starting quarterback to injury. After losing Jay Cutler for stretches of last week's loss to Philadelphia, Chicago will have to do the same.
Cutler is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a sprained right thumb. His absence will turn the Bears' offense over to Brian Hoyer, who was efficient but not effective in relief duty. While the well-traveled backup completed 9 of 12 passes, he also failed to rally his offense to a win or find the end zone through the air.
Further complicating matters for Chicago has been a total lack of run game. With only 137 total rushing yards this year, the Bears rank just 26th in the league. Matt Forte, the veteran back who carried the team's offense for eight consistent seasons, has 196 on his own as a member of the New York Jets.
The Bears have won three of the last four meeting between these teams, but Dallas walked away victorious the last time they met in 2014. The MVPs of that win won't be available for the Cowboys on Sunday, however. Neither Romo (three passing TDs) nor DeMarco Murray (179 rushing yards) will take the field, leaving Prescott and fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott some large shoes to fill in prime time.
How to Watch Chicago Bears vs. Dallas Cowboys
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Place: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
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