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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:40 am 
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CHICAGO -- Neither the brutal cold nor the leagues worst defence could stop Josh McCown and the Bears. Instead, Chicago jumped right back into the playoff race. 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 Ditkas number 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 loss left Dallas (7-6) a game behind Philadelphia in the NFC East and owner Jerry Jones calling for more aggressive play-calling on defence. The bone-chilling conditions didnt stop McCown from throwing for 348 yards or keep the Bears from running away with a lopsided victory. It was one they desperately needed after consecutive losses, and although Detroit holds the head-to-head sweep, the Bears are back in the thick of the playoff race. "All we could do is try to beat the Dallas Cowboys," coach Marc Trestman said. "We kept it as simple as that. We didnt get into all the hypotheticals and all the things that go into winning or losing a game." Alshon Jefferys 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, and they continued to pour it on in the second half after a gut-wrenching overtime loss at Minnesota last week. McCown, making his fourth straight start with Jay Cutler sidelined by a high left ankle sprain, became the first Bears quarterback to throw for 300 or more yards in three straight games. And for that, DeMarcus Ware blamed Dallas defence. "If you were back there quarterbacking and we played the way we played you probably would have five touchdowns," he said. McCown, meanwhile, insisted hes still the backup. And Trestman said the plan with Cutler hasnt changed. "Well see where Jay is this week," he said. "Hell have to be released by the doctors and when Jay is ready to play, hell be playing." Brandon Marshall caught six passes for 100 yards, and Jeffery added 84 yards receiving after breaking his own team record the previous week with 249. 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 on defence. But if youre going to have the kind of match like we had tonight or certainly in New Orleans you have to take some risks. We have to double up and Im sure that will be part of the plan on defence; more risks." Tony Romo threw for three touchdowns but completed just 11 of 20 passes for 104 yards for Dallas. DeMarco Murray ran for 146 yards against the leagues worst run defence, but the Cowboys were overmatched after winning two straight. They also lost linebacker Sean Lee to another injury -- this time a neck issue after making a tackle in the third quarter. He missed the previous two games with a hamstring problem. "Certainly, it was a disappointing loss and the loss stings," coach Jason Garrett said. "The worst thing we can do is have a hangover after this loss." The game-time temperature was 8 degrees with the wind chill at minus 9, but the freezing conditions did nothing to slow either team in the early going. Garrett said both teams handled it well. Murray burned Chicago for 52 yards on six carries on the games opening possession to set up a 2-yard scoring pass from Romo to Dez Bryant, but the Bears scored just about every time they got the ball. After Bryants TD, McCown tied it with a 4-yard pass to Earl Bennett and put Chicago ahead 14-7 early in the second quarter with a 7-yard scramble, leaping at the goal line and getting spun in midair. Jason Witten tied it at 14 when he dragged Major Wright across the goal line on a 10-yard touchdown catch, but the Bears grabbed a three-point lead on Robbie Goulds 27-yard field goal with 1:33 remaining in the half. Jeffery added to it with that neat catch after Dallas was forced to punt. "Im just trying to give him a chance to go up and make the play but not really put the ball in jeopardy, so to speak," McCown said. "My part was relative easy to the catch." NOTES: The record low temperature for a Bears home game is 2 degrees against Green Bay on Dec. 22, 2008. The lowest wind chill was minus 15 against the Packers on Dec. 18, 1983. ... There was a moment of silence for Nelson Mandela before the game. . SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. . If ever they start actually putting pictures beside words in the dictionary, the Blue Jays left-handers mug will appear beside “Consistency. . Blackwood, 28, has played the last three seasons in the San Diego Padres system, including the past two summers with Class AA San Antonio of the Texas League. . -- When the Florida Panthers fell behind by two goals in the first period to the top team in the NHL, it appeared they were on their way to yet another loss. . Those lessons were more than enough to overwhelm the Utah Jazz. Lou Williams scored 25 points and the Hawks continued their offensive upswing as they rolled to an easy 118-85 victory over the Jazz on Friday night, winning their third straight and for the fourth time in five games.SURPRISE, Ariz. - The Kansas City Royals claimed switch-hitting outfielder Jimmy Paredes off waivers Monday from the Baltimore Orioles. Paredes, 25, has played in 118 games in the majors for the Houston Astros since 2011. He hit .192 with four doubles, a home run and 10 RBIs in 125 at-bats last season with the Astros. Paredes, who was originally signed by the New York Yaankees in 2007, is with his third organization this off-season.ddddddddddddHe was claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins in November and the Orioles on Saturday. To make room for Paredes on the 40-man roster, the Royals designated for assignment right-handed pitcher Maikel Cleto, who was 1-2 with a 3.55 ERA in 19 appearances in 2013 with Triple-A Omaha. ' ' '


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