Week 14 NFL picks: Will Bears hand Cowboys their first road defeat?
• Last week: 10-6; Season: 130-61 (.681).
• Worst pick in Week 13: Dallas 27, Philadelphia 24 (Actual score: Eagles 33-10).
It’ll probably be labeled as another December swoon for Dallas, the kind we’ve seen so many times before. But in reality, what if the Cowboys are just coming down to earth after overachieving in the season’s first half with that surprising 6-1 start? That seems more likely.
The Cowboys’ perfect 5-0 road record says they should win against the Bears at Soldier Field (Thurs., 8:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network), but that mark seems to be another case of where Dallas isn’t as good as the numbers indicate. Dallas is 2-3 in its past five games, and playoff-bound teams usually don’t struggle at home the way Jason Garrett’s team has, going 3-4 there, including just 1-2 against the NFC East. The law of averages says a road defeat is due, especially since Chicago has shaken off some of its home-field issues with two consecutive victories after starting 0-3 on the lake front.
The weather is going to be fairly mild by Chicago standards -- around 33 degrees and no precipitation at kickoff -- so that won’t dramatically affect the Cowboys’ chances in any way, even though the cold isn’t helpful given Tony Romo’s back issues. But I’m betting the time is ripe for Jay Cutler and the Bears big receivers to put together a strong game against the Cowboys secondary, and tease everyone again with how good they can look when they find their rhythm and cohesiveness in the passing game. Dallas will make it close and probably even hold a fourth-quarter lead at some point Thursday night. But in the end this season, what will undo the Cowboys is a very familiar dilemma: They’re just not good enough to win when their season is on the line.