Cowboys at Bears Halftime Report: 'Ballyhooed' Dallas Starts Strong But Trails 17-7

Mike Fisher

CHICAGO - If you wondered, going into tonight's Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears game, why I predicted the Cowboys would lose, 17-16 ... Now that you've watched this first half, you know.

The Cowboys (6-6 but in first place in the inept NFC East) talk a good game but don't play one. They demonstrate an ability to play with inspiration for a moment - two moments, actually, as the opening drive resulted in an Ezekiel Elliott TD and shortly thereafter Jourdan Lewis stopped a Bears drive with a goal-line interception - but the moment does not last.

There is talk of "talent'' and "communication'' and "creativity'' and "coordination'' but the Cowboys, favored in 12 of their 13 games so far this year, have been mostly talk.

That much-ballyhooed postgame speech issued by an emotional Michael Bennett following the upset Thanksgiving loss to Buffalo? I said it then and I say it now: You don't give useful pep talks AFTER GAMES. To be useful, they must occur BEFORE GAMES.

The much-ballyhooed "kicking tryout'' to replace Brett Maher? It was a farce, with none of the three "candidates'' bringing any true credentials to the session inside The Star ... and with a 42-yard miss tonight. Maher is now officially the "missingest'' kicker in the NFL's last half-decade.

(Sidebar: With Dallas down 17-7 at the half, my 17-16 prediction remains in play. Except, it would likely require Maher to make three field goals. And that ain't happenin'.)

The much-ballyhooed " chippy'' practices of the week? I called B.S. on those claims from the start, as my understanding (and my ensuing reporting) was about "crappy'' and "sloppy,'' not "chippy.''

And the much-ballyhooed "fairy tale'' that owner Jerry Jones wishes to co-author with failed coach Jason Garrett? Barring a Dallas win here in Chicago - which is still possible, of course - not only will Cowboys fans no longer believe in the fairy-tale story ... they might not even bother paying enough attention to read it.

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