CHICAGO -- In what was the coldest regular-season game in team history -- 8 degrees at kickoff, including a minus-9 wind chill--the Chicago Bears put the Dallas Cowboys season and possible playoffs hopes in a virtual deep freeze with a 45-28 blowout Monday night before a crowd of 56,644 at Soldier Field.
After taking a 7-0 lead on its opening possession, the Cowboys watched the Bears score 42 of the next 49 points.
Quarterback Josh McCown had his way with an overmatched pass defense that came into the game ranked 31st in the league. McCown, starting for the injured Jay Cutler, completed 27 of 36 passes for 348 yards and four touchdown in what was easily the best game of his career. He also had a rushing touchdown. Receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall proved too big for the undersized defensive backs, combining for 11 receptions for 184 yards and one touchdown.
How dominant were the Bears on offense? They had 23 plays of 10 yards or more passing and running to completely frustrate the Cowboys. And they scored on eight straight possessions before the final kneel down drive.
"We didn't do a very good job of making any stops. That limited our opportunities on offense," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "It's a team loss. We didn't do enough on offense and we didn't do enough on special teams."
The Cowboys (7-6) saw their two-game winning streak come to an end, as they dropped one game behind the NFC-East leading Philadelphia Eagles (8-5) with three games to play.
It almost certainly means the Cowboys have to win out to win the division and avoid missing the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.
The Cowboys play host to Green Bay on Sunday before playing at the Washington Redskins and then closing with a possible winner-take-all battle for the division title and the playoffs against the Eagles in the season finale on Dec 29.