ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dez Bryant's 60th career touchdown was Dak Prescott's first for the Dallas Cowboys.
And for the first time in his short stint filling in for injured Tony Romo, the rookie quarterback was able to effectively utilize all of the receiver trio of Bryant, Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams in the same game, a 31-17 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday night.
There was Bryant's 17-yard TD catch early in the fourth quarter to extend the lead for the Cowboys (2-1). Beasley, the 5-foot-8 sparkplug who has been the team's leading receiver this season, had seven more catches and Williams had some important receptions on scoring drives though he lost a fumble at the end of a 47-yard gain in the third quarter that led to a Bears touchdown.
Prescott still doesn't have a turnover, extending his early-career mark to 99 consecutive passing attempts without an interception. And his first passing touchdown — he had his second rushing TD early against the Bears — put the Cowboys up 31-10 when Bryant caught the ball on a slant play in front of a defender, turned and lunged into the end zone.
That put Bryant in exclusive company since Hall of Fame receivers Michael Irvin (87) and Bob Hayes (71) and current tight end Jason Witten (60) are the only other players with 60 career TD catches for the Cowboys.
Bryant had only one catch in the season opener two weeks ago before a 100-yard game at Washington, a game in which a pass was never thrown in Williams' direction. Beasley has been the constant, with at least five catches in every game so far.
Beasley caught all seven passes thrown his way against the Bears, gaining 73 yards. Williams was targeted four times, catching all of them for 73 yards. Bryant's third and last catch was the touchdown, after Prescott went his way on six plays.
“With all of those guys, we want to rotate them through, and we don't want any of those receivers playing every snap the whole game,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We want to keep them fresh.”
On the second play of the game, Bryant had an 11-yard catch before limping off with what was described as a left knee issue. He was back on the field before the end the first quarter after getting treatment on the sideline, but didn't have another catch until the opening play of the fourth quarter.
“He hurt his knee, he was out for a little bit, but then he was able to come back,” Garrett said. “The slant for a touchdown was a big play in the game.”
Beasley was also banged up on the opening series, taking a hard shot to the chest from defensive back Adrian Amos after a completion that was initially marked as a first down. After a replay challenge by the Bears, officials pushed the ball back a yard, making it fourth down, though the Cowboys converted on way to a touchdown.
Prescott thought he had his first passing TD on Beasley's 29-yard catch early in the second quarter when he was instead correctly marked down at the 1, a play before Lance Dunbar's TD put the Cowboys up 17-0.
On the next Cowboys possession, Williams had a pair of 12-yard catches for first downs and Beasley has a 9-yard gain when he caught a short pass and was hit by a defender and then dived forward to get a few extra yards .