By: Jeremy Bergman for NFL.com
1. The Cowboys‘ green rookies looked like vested veterans in Dallas’ dismantling of the Bears on Sunday night. Led by Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys‘ offense moved down the field against an overmatched Chicago front with deliberate ease for much of the evening; Dallas held the ball for more than 35 minutes and executed three scoring drives of five-plus minutes. When Prescott wasn’t completing 79 percent of his passes, Elliott (30 rushes for 140 yards) was getting steady yardage on runs outside the tackles on the way to his first 100-plus yard rushing game. As we’ve seen already this season, Prescott moved comfortably in the pocket against Chicago’s soft rush and found his top receivers again and again — he tossed his first professional touchdown to Dez Bryant in the fourth. Safe to say, Dallas has secured its battery under center for the next five to 10 years.
2. Missing: the Cowboys pass rush. Please return to Jerry Jones, P.O. Box 82288, Jerrahworld, TX. Without their suspended ends, the Dallas defense has failed through three games to put together consistent pressure against opposing quarterbacks. On Sunday night, the Cowboys couldn’t penetrate the Bears‘ offensive line, one of the most maligned in the league, failing to register a sack on Brian Hoyer until the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter.
3. Hoyer’s return to the state of Texas went better than his last, but that’s not saying much. With two touchdowns to Zach Miller, Hoyer (30-for-49, 317 yards) exorcised whatever demons remained from the 30-0 thrashing his Texans took at the hands of the Chiefs in last year’s Wild Card round. Hoyer is serviceable as Jay Cutler‘s replacement while the starter rehabs a thumb injury, but without a sturdy line and a healthy stable of backs, he will struggle against tougher pass rushes.
4. Let’s not overlook the contributions of Cole Beasley. The fifth-year wideout had his third straight 65-yard-plus receiving game of the young season and established himself as Prescott’s favorite target, as if it weren’t already clear. Cowboys coaches and fans have to admire his consistency in the short game and marvel at his toughness. This first-quarter hit would have snapped lesser receivers in half, but not Beasley.
5. Welcome to the NFL, Kevin White! The Bears wide receiver, in the third game of his redshirt freshman season, caught six balls for 62 yards, but introduced himself to the world with an acrobatic sideline grab late in the fourth quarter. If White and Alshon Jeffery can get going at the same time alongside a careful, healthy Cutler, then we may see magic yet on Lake Michigan.