ARLINGTON, TX – It was one of those plays that looked like it could help change the fortunes of one team, but in the end, it helped the other.
But this “Momentum Moment” in the Bears-Cowboys game on Sunday afternoon in Arlington was – in getting in the Halloween spirit – a little spooky. Perhaps fittingly, it came as the Bears were wearing their orange helmets and jerseys.
With the Bears down 35-23 with five minutes to go in the third, Justin Fields escaped the Cowboys’ rush and found David Montgomery over the middle for the catch. He would go to his left and was headed towards the line for a first down, but that’s where things went wrong.
Leighton Vander Esch stripped the ball away from the running back, and it was recovered by Dallas linebacker Micah Parsons.
But as he was on the ground, Justin Fields, thinking the play was over, jumped completely over Parsons while he was on the ground with the football. Only Cowboys were around the football, with no other Bears arriving for a few seconds.
Since no one touched him from the Bears, the linebacker got up and ran 36 yards for the touchdown.
The Cowboys extended their lead to 42-23 and never looked back in a 49-29 victory that sent the Bears to their fifth loss of the season.
Afterward, Fields took responsibility for the error.
“It’s my fault for just hopping over him. I should have tackled him. I can’t remember the last time I made a tackle,” said Fields. “So, I’ve just to be aware in that situation and make sure he’s down.”
This marked the one major negative for the quarterback in an otherwise strong day where he was 17-of-23 through the air for 151 yards and two touchdowns with 60 yards rushing along with another score.
Yet the bizarre play was a tough one for him along with the Bears to take, with head coach Matt Eberflus doing what he can to turn it into a teaching moment for all involved.
“Yeah, just touch him down. We’ve showed multiple times during the course of our situations tape that we show every Friday that you’ve got to touch guys down,” said Eberflus. “When you see that, you’ve got to touch them down. We know that. It’s part of pro football and we’ve just got to do a better job there.”