Josh McCown’s 5 TDs lead Bears over Cowboys
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter December 9, 2013 9:08PM
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Updated: December 10, 2013 12:19PM
Adam Podlesh didn’t stay warm Monday night by punting.
But he did run on the field every time the Bears kicked a field goal or extra point — which, in a 45-28 walkover against the Cowboys, was enough to chase away the bitterness of a -9-degree wind chill at kickoff.
“It was a nice day for holding,” said the Bears punter, who wasn’t asked to kick once.
It was a great night for the Bears to reclaim their share of first place, too, as the Bears and Lions are now tied at 7-6 with three games to play.
On their most dramatic night of the season — when the team retired Mike Ditka’s No. 89 at halftime — the Bears had a game without any.
“We had a lot of close ones, lost a lot of close ones,” said cornerback Tim Jennings, who held Dez Bryant to two catches for 12 yards. “This one was huge. Monday night. Prime time.”
Josh McCown looked like John Elway, completing 27-of-36 passes for 348 yards, four passing touchdowns and one helicoptering dive into the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown run.
“He’s amazing, man,” wide receiver Brandon Marshall said.
In what might be his final start — coach Marc Trestman said Jay Cutler will get the nod when healthy — McCown helped Alshon Jeffery continue one of the great receiving seasons in team history.
The two combined forces on one of the most amazing catches anyone’s seen on the banks of Lake Michigan — a 25-yard jump-ball touchdown with 10 seconds left in the first half.
Jeffery, double-covered at the back-right pylon, leapt, landed with his feet in bounds and gave the Bears a 24-14 lead at halftime in front of 56,644 frigid faithful.
The Cowboys jumped ahead 7-0 on a 2-yard Bryant touchdown reception before the Bears scored 42 of the game’s next 49 points.
It started with a 4-yard Earl Bennett catch, and then, after Jason Witten’s 10-yard catch of a bootleg pass, McCown’s scoring scamper. Robbie Gould’s 27-yard field goal took the lead, and Jeffery’s impossible catch bumped it to 10.
After posting a team-high 249 receiving yards last week in Minneapolis, Jeffery had five catches for 84 yards.
Receiving to start the second half, the Bears set up a 34-yard Gould field goal.
A 4-yard Matt Forte scoring catch and Marshall’s two-point conversion reception made it 35-14, and Michael Bush’s 17-yard scoring screen made it a laugher.
“We know what we have offensively,” guard Kyle Long said. “We know the weapons — the problems that can cause a defense.”
Marshall led the team with six catches for 100 yards, but was one of four players to catch five or more passes.
Forte ran the ball with little pushback from the Cowboys, gaining 102 yards on 20 carries.
His counterpart, DeMarco Murray, had 18 carries for 145 yards.
Marshall said the Lions’ loss Sunday “gave us a little more energy,” and it showed.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re here one day or 10 years,” he said, “that orange-and-blue Bear blood, it’s contagious.
“This is what it’s about. This is Bear football.”