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Fourth-Down Conversions Set Tone



    Fourth-Down Conversions Set Tone
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    CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 4: DeMarco Murray #29 of the Dallas Cowboys scores a touchdown past Tim Jennings #26 of the Chicago Bears during the second quarter of a game at Soldier Field on December 4, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

    Fortunately for the Cowboys, the Dallas defense was playing well in the first quarter on Thursday night. Otherwise, it could've been trouble because the Cowboys' offense was stalling, which led to a scoreless tie after the first quarter at Soldier Field.

    What happened in the second quarter told the story of the game, as the Cowboys leaned on their strength and their workhorse, shoved a heavy dose of run down the Bears' throats and opened the game's scoring on a drive that saw them convert two short fourth downs, including the scoring play.

    Jason Garrett rolled the dice and did something he rarely does — go for it on fourth down — not just once, but twice. The first happened well within the range of kicker Dan Bailey, when the Cowboys could've easily taken the points and a 3-0 lead but opted to go on fourth-and-1. DeMarco Murray picked up about three yards on the play to easily get the first down.

    Then, facing fourth-and-goal from the Bears' 1-yard line, Murray did it again, easily getting into the end zone to give Dallas a 7-0 lead instead of a 3-0 lead.

    Even though the Bears came back and answered on the ensuing drive to tie the game, that drive sent a message not only to the Bears but also from Garrett to his team, and you could see the confidence beaming off the players' faces for the rest of the game. Murray wasn't going to be stopped on Thursday night, and Garrett knew it.