ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)Dak Prescott kept his legs churning to turn a quarterback sneak into a 25-yard gain.
Maybe young standout Dallas linebacker Micah Parsons was taking a cue from his leader.
Parsons got up and rumbled to the end zone on a fumble return for his first NFL touchdown after Chicago quarterback Justin Fields failed to touch him down, and the Cowboys beat the Bears 49-29 on Sunday.
”I kind of popped up ready to celebrate with the team and I thought I was down,” the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year said. ”And everyone’s like, `Go, go, go,’ and I went, went, went.”
Prescott threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score, and Tony Pollard had 131 yards rushing and a career-best three touchdowns with Ezekiel Elliott sidelined by a right knee injury.
Fields rallied the Bears (3-5) within five after trailing 28-7, but they had already given the momentum back when the second-year pro leapt into the wrong kind of Chicago lore.
David Montgomery fumbled in the open field after a catch in the third quarter, and Parsons fell on the loose ball. Instead of touching Parsons down, Fields jumped over him.
Parsons got up, took off when he heard that ”go” signal, stumbled toward the goal line and rolled over in the end zone on the 36-yard return.
Officials didn’t even stop the game for a review.
”You’re always gonna have ups and downs in the game,” Fields said while acknowledging he should have simply touched Parsons. ”You’ve just got to keep fighting.”
The Cowboys (6-2) scored touchdowns on their first four possessions for the first time since 2014, two years before Prescott and Elliott arrived as dynamic rookies leading the team to the top seed in the NFC.
Prescott opened the scoring with a 7-yard run on a nifty play design by offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Prescott’s two TD passes, including one to CeeDee Lamb, came on either side of Pollard’s first score.
”Obviously we’ve got to do a better job getting off the field,” said first-year Bears coach Matt Eberflus, who was on the Dallas defensive staff for seven seasons before spending the past four as defensive coordinator in Indianapolis. ”We didn’t do a very good job really all day on run defense.”
Fields threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score. His 10-yard toss to Cole Kmet got Chicago back within 13 after his gaffe on Parsons put Dallas up 42-23.
Pollard answered with a 54-yard touchdown on his final carry to get the lead back to 20 and keep the Bears from rallying despite their fourth 200-yard rushing game of the season (240).
”The last one was tough,” said Pollard who tied his career high in yards and carries (14) while averaging 9.4 yards per carry. ”I was winded. But I got in there.”
Khalil Herbert, who had what appeared to be a third-quarter fumble overturned on review to help Chicago to stay close, finished with 99 yards and a TD. Fields added 60 and Montgomery 53.
Prescott was 21 of 27 for 250 yards with an interception in his second game back after missing five with a fractured right thumb.
The 25-yard sneak, which led to the third Dallas TD, boosted Prescott to 34 yards with just the second rushing score since the start of 2021 for the franchise leader in rushing touchdowns for a QB (26).
Dallas was 30th in the NFL in third down conversions before getting the first six on the four TD drives to start the game. The Cowboys finished 9 of 11 on third down and had by far their best yardage total (442).
After leaning on defense to stay afloat during Prescott’s absence, Dallas had its most points in a game this season with 6:48 left in the second quarter.
”It’s a huge step … especially going into the bye week,” Prescott said. ”That confidence heading into the bye week that we can win any way that we need to.”
FIELDS SOLID AGAIN
The Chicago QB was 17 of 23 without an interception (one was negated by a roughing-the-passer penalty) for a career-best 120 passer rating. Both of the 100-plus ratings of his career have come in the past four games.
MAYBE NEXT TIME, ROOKIE
Malik Davis appeared to have an 11-yard touchdown catch in the undrafted rookie running back’s NFL debut for the Cowboys. It was overturned on review, and Prescott’s second TD pass was a 1-yarder to tight end Jake Ferguson instead. Ferguson and Dalton Schultz followed with quite the roping celebration.
Dallas LB Anthony Barr injured his left hamstring pursuing Fields on a first-half run, and rookie fifth-round pick Damone Clark replaced him. Clark was making his NFL debut seven months after spinal fusion surgery.
Bears: Miami at home next Sunday.
Cowboys: Open week before trip to Green Bay on Nov. 13.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL