Cowboys vs. Bears preview

When: 8:25 p.m. ET, Thursday Where: Soldier Field, Chicago TV: NFL Network

The Chicago Bears relegated themselves to the spoiler role by virtue of their 5-7 mark, while the Dallas Cowboys enter Thursday’s game trying to exorcise their December demons in an attempt to advance to the postseason for the first time since 2009.

Bears reporter Michael C. Wright breaks down the matchup with Cowboys reporter Todd Archer:

Wright: You always hear about Dallas’ struggles in December, and I remember how the Cowboys struggled in the cold last season around this time at Soldier Field. Is there really anything to that, and, if so, what’s gone into those struggles?

Archer: The Cowboys swear there is nothing to it. I’m kind of with them, but I do think the recent past does affect this team to the point at which they expect something bad to happen. Ultimately, however, I think it has come down to them just not having been good enough. That’s the real issue. They have been bad in late-season games because they’re just good enough to be good enough and have not been able to raise their level of play when the games matter most. I don’t think it has anything to do with choking or the other team wanting it more. It comes down to they haven’t had enough good players and coaches to get the job done. Will that change this season? I can’t call it. Even when they were 6-1, I had doubts about this team, especially defensively. They don’t have enough playmakers and they can’t scheme their way to enough stops. The offense will have to carry the day if the Cowboys are to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009. I do believe the offense is good enough, but is it good enough to carry the defense?

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