In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds
Cowboys vs. Bears Prediction
Soldier Field, Chicago
Table of Contents
- Introduction & Team Review
- The Running Game
- The Passing Game
- Final Outlook & Prediction
- Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com
- Insiders' Best Bets
Last Updated: Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 11:04am EST
The Dallas Cowboys are now fighting for their playoff lives and will face a Chicago team that desperately needs a win. Both teams played on Thanksgiving, but while the Cowboys will upset at home against Buffalo, the Bears were able to get be Detroit on the road. Dallas, at 6-6, is a game up on Philadelphia in the woeful NFC East. The Bears are 6-6 and have won two straight, but sit at three games behind the Green Bay Packers for first place in the NFC North. Their best chance might be at picking up the second wild card in the NFC.
Dallas Cowboys Review
Dallas comes into this contest holding the lead in the NFC East but they stand just 6-6 on the season. The Cowboys opened the year with a home win over the Giants (35-17) followed by a road win over Washington (31-21) and a home win over Miami (31-6) to get to 3-0 on the year. Dallas then followed that with three straight defeats as they were dropped by New Orleans (12-10) on the road, Green Bay (34-24) at home and to the Jets (24-22) on the road. The Cowboys rebounded to dump the Eagles (37-10) at home and the Giants (37-18) on the road to improve to 4-0 in divisional play before losing (28-24) at home to Minnesota. That was followed by a road loss to New England (13-9) before facing Buffalo at home on Thanksgiving on short notice.
The Cowboys started strong on Thanksgiving, scoring on their opening drive, but things unraveled from that point. Dallas gave up 26 unanswered points and failed to get on the board until just 4:01 remained in the contest despite the fact that they had opportunities. The Cowboys missed a pair of field goals, including one that was partially blocked before the end of the half. In addition, Dallas was unable to slow down Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen, who systematically picked them apart. The Cowboys held a 426-356 edge in total offense and picked up 32 first downs while allowing 22: the problem was that most of those were empty yards. Dallas lost the time of possession 33:18 to 26:42 and turned the ball over twice while not forcing a takeaway. The Cowboys were fortunate as a couple of other potential giveaways were negated by penalties.
Chicago Bears Review
Chicago continues to struggle as their offense has been abysmal and even that may be generous. The Bears opened the season with a 10-3 home loss to the Packers in the first game of the NFL campaign on a Thursday night and things haven’t gotten a whole lot better since. Chicago bounced back with a last-second win on the road over Denver (16-14) before rolling over Washington (31-15) on Monday Night Football and shutting down Minnesota (16-6) at home to reach the quarter pole 3-1. Since then, it’s been all downhill. The Bears lost to Oakland (24-21) in London before the bye. Coming out of the bye, they were drubbed 36-25 at home by the Saints in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. The Bears followed that up with a 17-16 home loss to the Chargers when Eddy Piniero missed a game-winning field goal as time expired. Chicago then lost at Philadelphia (22-14) before holding off Detroit (20-13) at home to snap a four-game slide. The Bears then dropped a 17-7 decision to the Rams on the road before dumping the Giants 19-14 on the road last week.
Against the Lions, who were starting their third-string quarterback, the Bears had their struggles but managed to come up with the key plays late to earn the victory. Chicago led 7-0 as they scored off their opening drive before giving up 17 unanswered points. The Bears were within 17-10 at the half and tied the game in the third quarter before giving up a 15 play, 70-yard drive that took nearly nine minutes off the clock. Chicago forced a Detroit drive to end in a field goal. Later in the final quarter, the team drove 90 yards in nine plays to score the go-ahead touchdown with 2:17 to play in the game. The Bears had to make one more stop. After the Lions reached the Chicago 26, they recorded a sack and then an interception on fourth down to seal the win. Chicago owned a 419-364 edge in total offense, picked up 22 first downs while allowing 19 and held a 30:50 to 29:10 edge in time of possession. Both teams turned the ball over once in the contest.
*Full preview and prediction coming Tuesday*
The Running Game
Dallas Cowboys Running Offense
Chicago Bears Running Defense
Dallas Cowboys Running Offense
Dallas has been up and down this season with the ground game. The season got off to a rough start as Ezekiel Elliott held out until the week before the season opener trying to hammer out a new contract. Dallas has gone over the 100-yard mark eight times in their 12 games this season, including four games where they have run for at least 170 yards. The run game has sputtered a bit in the last month as the Cowboys have run for more than 100 yards twice: in their other two games, they were limited to 50 yards by Minnesota and 75 by Detroit. Against Buffalo last week, the Cowboys ran the ball 19 times for 103 yards.
Elliott leads the team with 227 carries for 990 yards and seven scores on the season. Rookie Tony Pollard contributes 58 carries for 264 yards plus a score while Dak Prescott chips in 38 carries for 222 yards and three touchdowns. Tavon Austin has four carries for 44 yards plus a score while Randall Cobb has three carries for 11 yards this season. The Cowboys have five run plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season: Elliott leads the team with two while Austin, Pollard and Prescott each have one. Dallas has moved the chains 86 times via the ground this season.
Chicago Bears Run Defense
Chicago has been extremely effective at limiting opposing teams from doing damage on the ground this season. The Bears have allowed six teams to run for at least 100 yards against them this season. Chicago has limited opposing teams to under four yards per carry in eight of their 12 games this season. The Bears have given up three 100-yard games in the last month, including last week against the Lions. In that contest, they allowed Detroit to run the ball 27 times for 105 yards.
Danny Trevathan is second on the team with 70 tackles (50 solo) and a forced fumble on the season. He’s dealing with an elbow injury sustained against the Lions on November 10. Roquan Smith (team-high 98 tackles), Kyle Fuller (62 tackles), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (60 tackles, two fumble recoveries) and Eddie Jackson (50 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery) are other guys that are among the team leaders in stops this season. Khalil Mack (39 tackles, five forced fumbles, fumble recovery) leads the team with 10 tackles for loss while Nick Williams (32 tackles, two fumble recoveries) adds 5.5 while Leonard Floyd (32 tackles), Smith and Nick Kwiatkowski (42 tackles, forced fumble) each have five. As a team, the Bears have recorded 54 tackles for loss: they have forced 12 fumbles while recovering eight on the year.
- 12th in run play percentage (41.56 percent)
- 9th in rushing attempts per game (27.5)
- 8th in rushing yards per game (127.6)
- 7th in yards per carry (4.6)
- Tied for 10th in rushing TD (12)
- 20th in longest rush (42 yards)
- 15th in percentage of run plays against (40.34 percent)
- 17th in run plays per game against (26.1)
- 7th in rushing yards allowed per game (97.5)
- 4th in opposing yards per carry (3.7)
- Tied for 14th in rushing TD allowed (10)
- 1st in longest rush allowed (26 yards)
Who has the Edge?
Dallas started off strong with the run game against the Bills but it petered out in a hurry. Elliott had 54 yards on the ground in the opening quarter but just 17 the rest of the game: he didn't even record a carry over the final 24-plus minutes of the game. You have to expect Dallas to be more committed to the ground game than they were against the Bills. It will be a challenge against the Bears' run game, which has been tough this season for the most part. Even with Elliott, it's tough for Dallas to move the ball on the ground if they don't commit to it. This one is a wash all things considered.
Chicago Bears Running Offense
Dallas Cowboys Running Defense
Chicago Bears Running Offense
The run game hasn't been all that great for the Bears so far this season. Of course, it's been a changing of the guard in the Windy City as Jordan Howard is gone, taking the workhorse back from the last couple years out of the mix. Chicago has hit the century mark on the ground just twice in their 12 games this season. Those came in week two against Denver (29 carries, 153 yards) and in week eight against the Chargers (38 carries, 162 yards) this season. In the past five games, the Bears haven’t run for more than 88 yards: that came last week against the Lions. Chicago has been held to 3.5 yards per carry or less in eight of their 12 games on the year.
Rookie David Montgomery leads the team with 172 carries for 594 yards and five scores on the year. Cordarrelle Patterson has 12 carries for 78 yards while Mike Davis (11 carries, 25 yards) and Tarik Cohen (47 carries, 150 yards) have to be better when given an opportunity. Chicago has just three plays on the ground that have gone at least 20 yards this season: Montgomery has two of them while Patterson has the other. The Bears have picked up only 55 first downs via the ground game so far this season.
Dallas Cowboys Run Defense
Dallas has had their problems stopping the run this season. The Cowboys have allowed at least 100 yards on the ground in seven of their 10 games this season. That includes six of the last seven contests and each of the last four games. Dallas has let the opposition gain at least 4.1 yards per carry in seven of their 10 games. In the last month, the Cowboys have given up at least 100 yards in each of their four games. That includes giving up 28 carries for 121 yards plus two scores and 27 carries for 101 yards against the run-challenged Lions and Patriots, respectively, before allowing 34 carries for 124 yards plus a score against Buffalo.
Jaylon Smith leads the team with 112 tackles (68 solo) and two forced fumbles on the season. Leighton Vander Esch (72 tackles, forced fumble), Xavier Woods (61 tackles, two forced fumbles), Sean Lee (57 tackles) and Chidobe Awuzie (60 tackles, fumble recovery) are in the mix for the team's leading tacklers. DeMarcus Lawrence (38 tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries) leads the team with 12.5 tackles for loss while Robert Quinn (20 tackles, forced fumble) adds 10.5 on the season. All told, the Cowboys have 69 tackles for loss, 11 forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries, including a fumble return for a score, this season.
Dallas will be without starting nose tackle Antwaun Woods against this week due to an MCL sprain and will use rookie second-round pick Trysten Hill in his pace. However, Woods is also dealing with an off-the-field issue as well as an injury. He was arrested on Tuesday in Frisco, Tx., on possession of marijuana as well as tampering with evidence and possession of paraphanelia via CBSDFW.com.
- 24th in run play percentage (37.77 percent)
- 24th in rushing attempts per game (23.2)
- 28th in rushing yards per game (79.3)
- 30th in yards per carry (3.4)
- Tied for 24th in rushing TD (six)
- 16th in longest rush (55 yards)
- 17th in percentage of run plays against (41.2 percent)
- 14th in run plays per game against (25.8)
- 16th in rushing yards allowed per game (106.4)
- 13th in opposing yards per carry (4.1)
- Tied for 18th in rushing TD allowed (11)
- Tied for 14th in longest rush allowed (59 yards)
Who has the Edge?
Chicago's run game has been inconsistent all season as having a rookie back hasn't worked out as well as coach Matt Nagy would have hoped. The fact remains that Montgomery may well develop into a quality lead back but the lack of an effective passing game most of the season has hampered the Bears of keeping a team guessing. Dallas is a middle of the pack team against the ground game and has had their issues without Vander Esch, who is dealing with a neck injury. Until the Cowboys starts to slow teams down again, this one is a wash.
The Passing Game
Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense
vs. Chicago Bears Passing Defense
Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense
Dallas has been extremely effective moving the ball through the air and with each passing game, Dak Prescott hopes to see his value go up: he’s more focused at the moment on getting the team back on track after six losses in nine games. The Cowboys have a slew of dangerous options in the passing game that makes them tough to defend. Dallas has thrown for at least 300 yards five times this season with two 400-yard contests on the books. The Cowboys have gone over 300 yards in three of their last four games, registering 397 yards against Minnesota, 444 yards against Detroit and 355 yards against Buffalo though most of those were empty yards.
Prescott has completed 298 of 447 passes for 3,788 yards with 23 touchdown passes against 11 interceptions. He has been sacked only 16 times on the year, losing 126 yards in the process. Amari Cooper is the team's leading receiver with 64 receptions for 971 yards and seven scores. Michael Gallup has 49 receptions for 796 yards plus three scores while Randall Cobb (42 grabs, 634 yards, three TD), tight end Jason Witten (48 catches, 418 yards, three TD) and Elliott (39 catches, 326 yards, TD) are valuable options. The Cowboys have 52 pass plays covering at least 20 yards this season: Cooper leads the team with 14 such plays while Gallup and Cobb each have 12.
Chicago Bears Passing Defense
Chicago has made life tough for opposing quarterbacks and receivers this season. The Bears have allowed just one 300-yard passing game all season: that came back in week three in a blowout win over Washington when Case Keenum totaled 332 yards. Chicago has held two of their past four opponents under 150 yards through the air. The Bears did have their issues with the Lions: they allowed 269 yards through the air in week 10 and then gave up 280 yards through the air last week. One point of concern though is the dwindling return on the pass rush: Chicago had 17 sacks in their first four games of the season but only 11 in the last eight games combined.
Mack leads the team with 6.5 sacks while Nick Williams (32 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, two pass defenses, two fumble recoveries) is right behind him with six on the season. Floyd adds three and Roy Robertson-Harris (24 tackles, three pass defenses) contributes 2.5 on the year. All told, 11 different players have at least one sack for the Bears this season. Prince Amukamara (50 tackles, tackle for loss, forced fumble, fumble recovery) and Fuller each have 10 pass defenses to share the team lead. Buster Skrine (33 tackles, two forced fumbles) and Clinton-Dix are next with five apiece. Fuller has three picks to lead the team while Clinton-Dix (TD) contributes a pair of picks. Smith, Jackson and Nick Kwiatkowski each have one. As a team, the Bears have 28 sacks to go with 53 pass defenses and eight interceptions, including a pick-six, this season.
- 21st in pass play percentage (58.44 percent)
- 9th in completion percentage (66.5)
- 1st in passing yards per game (305.2)
- Tied for 6th in TD passes (23)
- Tied for 21st in INT thrown (11)
- 1st in net yards per pass attempt (8.2)
- 19th in longest pass play (62 yards)
- 10th in passer rating (99.6)
- 18th in pass play percentage against (59.66 percent)
- 9th in passing yards per game allowed (222.2)
- 25th in completion percentage allowed (65.3)
- 5th in TD passes allowed (13)
- Tied for 18th in INT (eight)
- Tied for 19th in sacks (28)
- 9th in passer rating allowed (86.4)
- 4th in net yards per pass attempt (6.1)
Who has the Edge?
This is going to be a test for Chicago's defense. Their pass rush has really struggled to get home in the last couple of months and that is going to be troublesome if they give Prescott too much time. Dallas has a trio of capable playmakers to work within the passing game as Cobb, Gallup and Cooper, along with Witten, are all able of making plays. Dallas's offensive line took a hit with Connor Williams landing on IR after tearing his ACL against the Bills but unless Mack and company get a ton of pressure on Prescott, this one goes toward the Cowboys.
Advantage: Dallas Cowboys
Chicago Bears Passing Offense
Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense
Chicago Bears Passing Offense
Chicago has seen their passing game sputter all season long and it’s a major reason why the team has struggled this season. The Bears have just one 300-yard passing game this season. By contrast, Chicago has thrown for under 200 yards on five separate occasions this season, including a three-game stretch between weeks nine and 11 against the Eagles, Lions and Rams. After throwing for what was, at the time, a season-high 278 yards against the Giants in week 12, the Bears exceeded that mark with 338 yards in their rematch with the Lions last week.
Mitch Trubisky has completed 230 of 361 passes for 2,196 yards with 13 touchdown passes and seven interceptions on the year. He's been sacked 26 times for 154 yards in losses this season. He missed time with a separated shoulder earlier this season. Chase Daniel is 45 of 64 for 435 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions this season. Allen Robinson leads the team with 71 receptions for 850 yards and five scores on the year. Cohen has 54 catches for 306 yards and three scores while Taylor Gabriel has reeled in 29 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns. Anthony Miller (38 receptions, 489 yards) is a solid secondary option. Chicago has 28 pass plays of at least 20 yards this season: Robinson leads the team with 11 while Miller adds eight and Gabriel has four this season.
Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense
Dallas has done a solid job against the pass for the most part this season. The Cowboys have given up only two 300-yard games through the air this season. Dallas allowed 323 yards in the opener against the Giants and then allowed 338 yards to the Jets in week six. In the last month, the Cowboys have three of their four opponents to 220 yards or less through the air. Dallas has picked up at least one sack in each of their games this season with six games with at least three sacks on the season. The Cowboys gave up 259 yards through the air to the Bills last week, marking the highest total they had allowed since their loss to the Jets.
Quinn leads the team with 9.5 sacks on the season while Lawrence is next in line with five sacks. Maliek Collins (18 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, fumble recovery) adds four sacks while Michael Bennett (15 tackles, six tackles for loss in five game Awuzie leads the team with 10 pass defenses while Anthony Brown (17 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss), Jeff Heath (48 tackles, tackle for loss) and Byron Jones (36 tackles, forced fumble) each have five. Woods leads the team with two interceptions while Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis (29 tackles, three sacks, tackle for loss, fumble recovery, TD) each have one. The Cowboys have recorded 32 sacks, 50 pass defenses and four interceptions so far on the season.
- 9th in pass play percentage (62.23 percent)
- 12th in completion percentage (64.7)
- 28th in passing yards per game (202.4)
- 22nd in TD passes (16)
- Tied for 15th in INT thrown (nine)
- 31st in net yards per pass attempt (5.7)
- Tied for 26th in longest pass play (53 yards)
- 21st in passer rating (85.5)
- 16th in pass play percentage against (58.8 percent)
- 8th in passing yards per game allowed (215.2)
- 22nd in completion percentage allowed (64.6)
- Tied for 6th in TD passes allowed (14)
- 32nd in INT (four)
- Tied for 16th in sacks (32)
- 20th in passer rating allowed (91.9)
- 8th in net yards per pass attempt (6.3)
Who has the Edge?
Chicago has sputtered offensively and one need look no further than Trubisky's numbers in order to see why. The Bears' passing game has struggled as they don't have a true secondary receiver to play opposite Robinson II. Chicago has shuffled a lot of guys through the spot, and at tight end, yet has struggled to have success in that department. The Cowboys don't make much in the way of plays in the secondary but they can get after the quarterback. With only one true receiving threat, the Bears could be in trouble if they can't find other options. Give Dallas a slim edge here thanks to their pass rush.
Advantage: Dallas Cowboys
Dallas is eighth in the league in scoring offense as they put up 25.8 points per game on the season. The Cowboys are first in the league in total offense with 432.8 yards per game and stand first in yards per play with 6.5 yards per snap. Dallas is eighth in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 19.7 points per contest. The Cowboys are 8th in total defense as they allow 321.6 yards per game and stand 9th as they give up 5.1 yards per play. Dallas is tied for 22nd in the takeaway/giveaway department as they are a -4 on the season.
The Cowboys are 17th in red-zone success as they have cashed in 54.76 percent of their drives that got inside the opposition's 20-yard line into touchdowns. Dallas is 7th in red-zone defense as they held opposing teams to a 47.62 percent success rate as far as scoring touchdowns go. Dallas is 1st in the league in third-down conversions as they have converted 48.98 percent of their situations this season. The Cowboys are solid in getting off the field as opposing teams have converted 32.45 percent of their third downs, which is third in the league. Dallas is 19th in the league in time of possession as they hold the ball 48.72 percent of the time.
Brett Maher hit all 33 extra-point attempts and is 19 of 28 on field goals with a long of 63 this season. Chris Jones has punted 35 times with an average of 41.7 yards per punt: he has a net average of 36.7 yards per kick and has had one blocked this season. Jones has placed 16 punts inside the 20 with one touchback on the year. Pollard has averaged 14.7 yards per return on 10 kickoff returns with a long of 28. Randall Cobb has averaged 5.5 yards on his two kickoff returns this year and eight yards on his three punt returns. Cedrick Wilson has averaged 6.5 yards on his two punt returns. Tavon Austin averages 4.8 yards on 12 punt returns with a long of 15.
Chicago is only 27th in the league in scoring offense as they put up 17.7 points per game on the season. The Bears are 29th in the league in total offense with 281.8 yards per game and stand 30th in yards per play with 4.6 yards per snap. Chicago is fourth in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 17.3 points per contest. The Bears are a solid 7th in total defense as they allow 319.7 yards per game and stand seventh as they give up only 4.9 yards per play. Chicago is tied for 10th in the takeaway/giveaway department as they are a +3 on the season.
The Bears are 14th in red zone success as they have cashed in 59.38 percent of their drives that got inside the opposition’s 20-yard line into touchdowns. Chicago is 13th in red zone defense as they held opposing teams to a 53.85 percent success rate as far as scoring touchdowns goes. Chicago is currently 28th in the league in third down conversions as they have converted 31.41 percent of their situations this season. The Bears are solid in getting off the field as opposing teams have converted 34.59 percent of their third downs, which is seventh in the league. Chicago is 18th in the league in time of possession as they hold the ball 49.09 percent of the time.
Eddy Piniero, who took over the kicking job after Cody Parkey's infamous double-doink miss in the playoffs last season, is 21 of 23 on extra points and 15 of 20 on field goals with a long of 53 this year. Pat O'Donnell has averaged 45.1 yards per kick on 64 punts this season: he has a net average of 40.6 yards with 19 punts inside the opposition's 20-yard line. He has two touchbacks in addition to having a punt blocked but has a 75-yard boot to his credit. Patterson has averaged 30.9 yards on his 23 kick returns, including a 102-yard return for a score, while Cohen has averaged 9.3 yards on 25 punt returns with a long of 71.
Who has the Edge?
Dallas is the better team offensively by a wide margin. However, one thing that we have seen of late is that the Cowboys have struggled to put points on the board against quality defenses. Dallas finished with only nine points against New England and 15 against Buffalo in the last two weeks. Chicago has a stingy defense and they'll make Dallas work for their points as well. It won't be easy sledding for either offense when you get right down to it. The Cowboys have struggled on special teams this season, which gives the Bears the edge in that department. Factor in the relative hot seat for Jason Garrett and the fact that Chicago has some momentum, give them the edge here. D
Advantage: Chicago Bears
Dallas has put up only 24 points in their last two games combined, which is a far cry from the offense that piled up at least 22 points in nine of their first 10 games this season. Six times, the Cowboys put up at least 31 points this season, so the lack of offensive production of late is cause for concern. Chicago is at home here and the weather could impact some things, especially for the Cowboys, who aren't used to the colder weather that one would see in the Windy City in December. Dallas still owns the lead in the NFC East while the Bears are fighting to stay in the playoff picture. That puts a lot of pressure on both teams.
According to Covers.com, the Cowboys are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game and 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 games on grass. Chicago has gone 2-8 ATS in their last 10 Thursday games, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. NFC opponents. Dallas has plenty at stake here and the team gets back on the right track behind a big game from Elliott, coupled by the inconsistent Chicago offense failing to generate opportunities.
Prediction: Dallas Cowboys -3Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com
Additional Insiders' Best Bets
Full-game Total Bet
Both teams are tough on the defensive side of the ball this season. Chicago is fourth in scoring defense while Dallas is eighth in that category this season. The Bears have held eight of their 12 opponents to 17 points or less this season. Only once in their six home games did they give up more than that number at home, that coming when the Saints prevailed 36-25. Dallas has held six opponents to 18 points or less this season with three of those games coming on the road. With two tough defenses and only one capable offense, what can we expect from this one?
The under is 13-3 in the Cowboys' last 16 games in December and 10-4 in their last 14 games following a double-digit loss at home. Chicago has seen the under go 4-0 in their last 4 games in December, 8-1 in their last nine at home and 12-2 in their last 14 on grass. Seeing how Dallas has struggled offensively in the last couple games and the Bears have sputtered all season long, this one ends up falling short of the number.
Half-time Side Bet
Dallas has had more success when it comes to putting points on the board this season. The Cowboys come into this contest 10th in the league in first-half points this year as they average 12.1 points per game. Chicago, on the other hand, is tied for 31st in the league by scoring just 7.2 points per contest this season in the opening half of games. Dallas has played better football than one would expect from a .500 team and the Bears are dismal offensively. Give the Cowboys the upper hand at the half here.
Half-time Total Bet
If the weather acts up, points could be hard to come by. Both field goal kickers have had their struggles this season and with the way the winds blow at Soldier Field, kicking could be a challenge. Chicago is fifth in the league in scoring defense in the opening half of games as they limit opponents to 8.4 points per game this season. Dallas is 19th by allowing 11.7 points per contest in the opening half. Given the way the teams have struggled offensively and are stout defensively, this one ends up under the number at the half.