IRVING The cold weather forced the Dallas Cowboys to move their Friday practice indoors because their field was covered with sleet.

'It would probably take a couple more hours for us to get it cleared off,' Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said.

Dallas will next play the Bears in Chicago on Monday night. Since the Cowboys don't have an indoor practice facility right now, the team will use the indoor facility at Highland Park.

'We got some good work in yesterday, and we're hopeful we'll get some good work tomorrow,' Garrett said. 'We intended to stay here, but just couldn't get the field cleared off quickly enough.'

The Cowboys had hoped their work in the Texas cold would help them get used to the cold conditions similar to what they'll see in Chicago on Monday night.

'The field is ice, so you've to get the ice essentially off the field, but we don't have a big enough field right now,' Garrett said. 'Rather than wait three or four hours to get that done, we thought it was better to go to Plan B.'

The streets are so icy around the practice facility that the team actually had to pick up a few players for today's workout. 'A couple of guys we did have to do that,' Garrett said. 'I think some coaches spent the night and some coaches went home. I went home.'

The Cowboys have seen the forecast for Chicago on Monday night. It's expected to be colder there than it has been in Dallas so far, and if it gets too nasty, the Cowboys expect to be running the ball a whole lot more.

'We know the conditions may not be too great, but they're playing in it just like we are,' said Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray. 'I think we've got to be mentally strong to win this game.'

Among NFL running backs with 10-or-more carries per game, DeMarco Murray has the best average at 4.9 yards per carry. It's a positive sign for an offense that barely ran the ball early in the season.

'DeMarco had some big runs,' Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. 'Obviously Lance [Dunbar] had huge plays on Thanksgiving, so just to build on that going on the road. They'll do the same. They have a really good running game, and that's the type of game where you have to get your running game going when you're playing in this type of weather.'

'I think that we are improving,' says Cowboys rookie center Travis Frederick. 'It's something I hope to improve throughout this week and continue to improve through the next few weeks.'

'Ideally you'd like to be out today, simulating the elements that we're going to play in Monday night, but we just can't get that done,' Garrett added. 'This will be a good alternative for us. We got some good work in yesterday and hopefully we can get on the fields tomorrow.'


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