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Tony Pollard leads way as 5 different Cowboys score touchdowns in rout of Bears

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys faced the Chicago Bears without running back Ezekiel Elliott.

They emerged with 49 points courtesy of touchdowns from five different players.

Because the Cowboys, despite one glaring flaw the Bears exposed, have a deep stable of dangerous weapons. And with quarterback Dak Prescott (thumb fracture) finally starting consecutive games, they showed Sunday they’re not afraid to use them in a 49-29 win.

Tony Pollard was one of five Dallas Cowboys who scored touchdowns in a 49-29 win over the Chicago Bears. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Tony Pollard was one of five Dallas Cowboys who scored touchdowns in a 49-29 win over the Chicago Bears. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) (Richard Rodriguez via Getty Images)

Running back Tony Pollard, starting in place of the injured Elliott, finished the game with 131 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries and also caught a pass for 16 yards.

On offense, the Cowboys turned their early season weakness into a strength. They converted nine of 11 (88.8%) third-down attempts after entering the game with a third-worst-in-the-league 32.18%. Prescott’s chemistry with his receivers was sharp, finding CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup on key plays including a 21-yard touchdown Prescott perfectly threw to Lamb in traffic.

Rookie tight end Jake Ferguson caught a touchdown from Prescott — his second in three games — the play after rookie running back Malik Davis’ score was overturned a yard short.

But really, it was the Cowboys’ run game that made Dallas unstoppable, with Pollard the first line of attack and Prescott an integral second.

Prescott actually punched in the Cowboys’ first touchdown on the ground after faking a handoff to Pollard. The quarterback also scrambled 25 yards the snap immediately before Pollard’s first touchdown during which he ran straight through the heart of the Bears’ 29th-ranked run defense.

While Prescott’s lower-body threat may have helped Pollard get started, it was Pollard’s rare burst and elusiveness that kept him going. Pollard somehow avoided tripping as he fell into the end zone for his second score, with 6:51 to play in the third quarter, his left ankle firmly in the grasp of Bears defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad.

And Pollard’s final touchdown — his first time in 54 games scoring three on the same day — left a full four Bears defenders sprawled in his wake, including two even before he crossed the line of scrimmage. Pollard refused to topple as he escaped for a 54-yard scoring run.

The Cowboys nearly doubled their previous season high of 25 points. They needed to, with the Bears gashing the Cowboys’ weak run defense to the tune of 240 rushing yards and two scores. Dual-threat QB Justin Fields escaped for 60 yards and a score on eight carries.

Those 240 ground yards revealed the Cowboys’ clear Achilles heel: their run defense, and particularly their perimeter run defense. Dallas’ season-long struggles to set the edges were nearly costly when the Bears scored 16 unanswered points during a midgame stretch when Prescott also threw an interception.

Only after linebacker Micah Parsons recovered a fumble and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown did Dallas seem to have a strong grasp on the victory it eventually attain. Pollard’s subsequent field-flipping score closed the deal.

Prescott completed 21 of 27 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in addition to 34 yards and a score by ground.

Fields completed 17 of 23 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns in addition to his 60 yards and a score rushing.

The Cowboys now enter their bye 6-2 in a top-heavy NFC East. The Bears fall to 3-5 and lose some of the momentum they found Monday night upsetting the Patriots in New England.

Follow Yahoo Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein