CHICAGO – Neither the brutal cold nor the league’s worst defense could stop Josh McCown and the Chicago Bears.
McCown threw for a career-high four touchdowns, and the Bears scored on their first eight possessions to grab a share of the NFC North lead with a 45-28 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on a frigid Monday night.
The Bears (7-6) retired Hall of Famer Mike Ditka’s number 89 at halftime and pulled even with Detroit in the division race on a night when the game-time temperature was in single digits and the wind chill factor was below zero.
The defeat left Dallas (7-6) a game behind Philadelphia in the NFC East and owner Jerry Jones calling for more aggressive play-calling on defense.
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The cold conditions didn’t stop McCown from throwing for 348 yards.
“All we could do is try to beat the Dallas Cowboys,” coach Marc Trestman said. “We kept it as simple as that. We didn’t get into all the hypotheticals and all the things that go into winning or losing a game.”
Alshon Jeffery’s leaping catch between two defenders in the corner of the end zone in the closing seconds of the second quarter gave the Bears a 24-14 lead.
McCown completed 27 of 36 passes. Matt Forte chipped in with 102 yards rushing and 73 receiving, and the Bears racked up 490 yards in all.
“Basically, we will have to make some adjustments in what we are doing defensively,” Jones said. “What that usually means is taking more risks … We have to double up and I’m sure that will be part of the plan on defense; more risks.”