When Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo talked this week about the 2013 Bears defense he is seeing on tape, the sense is that he was just being polite.
He is familiar with Bears defenses. As recently as last Oct. 1 the Bears intercepted five Romo passes in a Monday night game and put Dallas down 34-18.
But those interceptions included ones returned for touchdowns by Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman, and were by a defense that also started Henry Melton, Israel Idonije, Nick Roach and Brian Urlacher.
None of those six defensive fixtures will be playing Monday night. And while the defense is technically the same schematically, that unit was allowing 65.8 rushing yards per game at the time.
“There’s some subtle differences, things here and there; I don’t want to go into it,” Romo said, suggesting that no Briggs, Melton, Urlacher etc. falls under the heading of “subtle.” “I think you can definitely tell they have a similar system but are doing some different things in situational football.”
Besides the temperatures, Monday night should be the Bears’ friend vs. Romo and the Cowboys. Should. But...
Romo is 1-2 lifetime against the Bears, but the losses are more recent and include that MNF one last season. He was able to take the Cowboys past the post-Super Bowl Bears to a 34-10 win in Soldier Field.
But that was the only success enjoyed against Lovie Smith defenses, and matters deteriorated from there. The Bears’ 2010 playoff season arguably got one of its biggest lifts when the Bears went into Texas in week three, overcame offensive line problems, intercepted Romo twice and helped the Cowboys toward what would be a 6-10 season.