Bears lead Cowboys 35-14 after 3 quarters

Josh McCown threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as

the Chicago Bears took a 35-14 lead over the Dallas Cowboys through

three quarters of a Monday night game between NFC teams trying to

tie for the lead in their divisions.

Wind chill temperatures below zero and two struggling defenses

did little to slow the offenses at Soldier Field. The frigid

conditions didn’t stop the halftime ceremony where the Bears

retired the No. 89 of Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, who won a

championship with Chicago as a player and head coach.

McCown flipped a 4-yard touchdown pass to running back Matt

Forte for a 33-14 lead, and then completed a 2-point conversion

pass to Brandon Marshall with 2:20 left in the third quarter to

culminate a 14-play, 90-yard drive.

Robbie Gould kicked a 34-yard field goal on Chicago’s first

possession of the third quarter for a 27-14 lead.

McCown completed 24 of 33 passes for 296 yards through three

quarters. The Bears scored on all six of their possessions though

three quarters against the league’s worst-ranked pass defense.

McCown threw a 25-yard pass to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery over

two defenders for a touchdown with 10 seconds left in the first

half to finish a 37-second, five-play scoring drive.

Gould kicked a 27-yard field goal with 3:49 left in the second

quarter to break a 14-14 tie and end a 68-yard drive. The Bears

forced a punt to set up the quick 60-yard march to the late TD.

Dallas’ Tony Romo threw his second touchdown pass of the first

half, a game-tying 10-yard toss off a bootleg to tight end Jason

Witten with 5:22 left in the second quarter that tied the score at

14.

However, most of Dallas’ big first-half plays came from running

back DeMarco Murray, who had 132 yards on 16 carries through three

quarters against the league’s worst-ranked run defense.

McCown scored from 7 yards out on third down to give the Bears a

14-7 lead in the second quarter, leaping into the end zone and

colliding with Dallas linebacker Sean Lee before spinning to the

ground to end a 65-yard, 10-play march.

The Cowboys went 75 yards on the game’s opening drive with Romo

completing a 2-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant on second-and-goal

to end the 12-play march. The first 37 yards of the drive came on

the ground against Chicago’s 32nd-ranked run defense, including a

drive-opening 19-yard run off right tackle by Murray. He had 52

yards on six carries during the drive.

Romo completed a third-and-3 pass of 11 yards to Cole Beasley at

the Bears 14 to keep the drive alive.

The Bears answered with a 78-yard drive in 12 plays, ending with

a 4-yard, third-down McCown-to-Earl Bennett TD pass with 1:35

remaining. A third-and-10 pass of 15 yards to Jeffery kept the

drive going.