CHICAGO — (AP) Neither the brutal cold nor one of the league's worst defenses 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 at halftime and pulled even with Detroit in the division race on a night when the wind chill factor was below zero. Dallas (7-6) fell a game behind Philadelphia in the NFC East.
Joe Trahan provides a quarter-by-quarter account of the Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears.
The Cowboys and Bears traded 12-play touchdown drives and were tied at 7 after the first quarter at frosty Soldier Field.
Dallas took the opening kick and drove 75 yards for the game's first score when Tony Romo hit Dez Bryant from the 2 to make it 7-0.
The drive featured running back DeMarco Murray, rushing for 52 yards on six carries.
The Bears wasted no time responding with their own 12-play drive, covering 78 yards. Josh McCown found Earl Bennett wide open in the end zone to tie the game up.
This game will go down as the second coldest game the Cowboys have ever played, with a kickoff temperature of just 8 degrees. With winds whipping off Lake Michigan, the wind chill made it feel like it was 9 below zero.
The Cowboys' defense failed to stop the Bears on any of their first half possessions, and Dallas trails Chicago 24-14 at the half of their Monday night affair.
The Bears scored three touchdowns and a field goal on their four possessions. The Bears' final drive of the half covered 60 yards in 5 pays in just 37 seconds. They capped it off when Josh McCown found Alshon Jeffrey in the back corner of the end zone to put the Bears up 24-14.
McCown picked apart the Cowboys secondary in the first half, hitting 18 of 23 passes for 222 yards and two passing touchdowns, and the Chicago QB scrambled for a seven-yard touchdown run that gave the Bears a 14-7 lead.
The Cowboys answered with a Tony Romo to Jason Witten 10-yard touchdown hookup to tie it at 14. But the Cowboys failed to score again, and couldn't stop Chicago.
Through three quarters-plus of their Monday night affair, the Cowboys' defense has yet to stop the Chicago offense, and the Bears are blowing out Dallas 42-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Josh McCown has continued his sizzling night against the Cowboys, throwing for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns, as well as running for another score.
McCown threw a swing pass to Michael Bush that covered 17 yards early in the fourth quarter to extend the Bears' lead to 42-14.
In a battle of two bad defenses, the Cowboys showing they deserve to be ranked 32nd in the league after letting the Bears score on each of their first seven possessions of the game.
The Cowboys' offense failed to help turn the tide on their first possession of the second half when they couldn't get a first down after Dwayne Harris' 43-yard kick return set them up near mid-field.