. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Smith Hurt as Bears Maul Cowboys

CHICAGO -- The defending Super Bowl champions lost Monday night, as four-time NFL rushing champion Emmitt Smith was carted off injured.


By the time Smith got hurt while diving over the top of defenders after a fake handoff with 3:41 to go, the Cowboys were already beaten. Chicago used two trick plays and an intense defensive effort to win 22-6.


The initial announcement was that Smith had pain up and down his back but had movement of all his extremities as he went for precautionary X-rays.


Deion Sanders lived up to his reputation as a prime-time player in becoming the NFL's first two-way starter in three decades. Even his participation in 107 plays wasn't enough, however, to keep the Cowboys from losing their opener.


Raymont Harris caught three passes for 103 yards and was on the receiving end of both of Chicago's trick plays. The Bears' defense contained a Dallas offense that obviously missed suspended receiver Michael Irvin and injured tight end Jay Novacek.


The Bears held Smith to 70 yards on 18 carries and hounded quarterback Troy Aikman all game. The defense clinched the victory with 8:47 to play, when Aikman fumbled as he was sacked by blitzing Kevin Miniefield and Bryan Cox recovered in the end zone for a 22-3 lead.


Smith got hurt on Dallas' next possession, landing on his neck and shoulder as he came down to the Soldier Field turf.


It was a horrible ending to a horrific game for the Cowboys.


Aikman missed open receivers. Smith fumbled. Dallas was repeatedly penalized for fundamental errors like lining up in illegal formations and double shifts. Even Sanders, an All-Pro cornerback who caught nine passes for 87 yards in the first extended receiver action of his career, fumbled early in the fourth quarter.


And twice, Dallas was easily fooled by the Bears' trickery.


Chicago took a 7-3 lead when Harris caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from receiver Curtis Conway, a high school quarterback, with 3:31 left in the first half. And punter Todd Sauerbrun found a wide-open Harris for a 47-yard pass to set up Carlos Huerta's 31-yard field goal to make it 10-3 at halftime.


After a scoreless third quarter, Huerta made a 42-yard field goal to put the Bears up 13-3. Sanders, who played almost all game, then made his critical mistake, fumbling as he reached with the football for extra yardage after catching a short pass from Aikman.


Walt Harris, the Bears' top draft pick, made the tackle and recovered the fumble to set up Huerta's 34-yard field goal for a 16-3 lead.