Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears: Five things to watch

1Romo’s recovery?

In the Thanksgiving Day loss to Philadelphia, Tony Romo had his worst game since the season opener, clearly struggling on short rest. Romo has traditionally bounced back from rough outings, though, and certainly needs to in Chicago. Romo understands the importance of this game as the playoff race heats up.

2Sticking to it?

DeMarco Murray had his worst day — yardage-wise, at least — against the Eagles. That’s due in part to the offensive line’s poor play as well, but the Cowboys can’t change their game plan. They must remain a run-first team and establish it early against the Bears.

3Defensive issues

The Cowboys’ defense hasn’t been as bad as expected, and the bend-but-don’t-break philosophy has held up for the most part. But they are struggling to stop scoring drives early in the game and have to improve in that area to put less pressure on the offense.

4Hello, road

One of the more surprising things to happen this season is the Cowboys’ road success. They are the only undefeated team in the league on the road and will be favored to continue that streak Thursday. Maybe it’s the structured routine on the road, or having simply more distractions at home. Whatever the reason, the Cowboys will take it.

5December woes

Much will be made of the Cowboys’ struggles this month over the past decade. The numbers don’t lie, of course, and winning is the only way to change that narrative. This year’s team has a chance to do it with a solid veteran presence in the locker room. — Drew Davison

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