With overnight temperatures expected to dip into single digits, weather will be a factor in the Bears-Cowboys game. But not as much as most think.
"We've had a couple days out here (in practice, and) without the wind, and it hasn't really dramatically affected us in terms of our execution and things like that," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "But Robbie (Gould) would know better and the kickers would know better relative to the what the ball will be doing because of the cold on the footballs."
Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer agree that windy conditions affect offensive football more than cold. The bad news is winds are expected to gust into the low 20s.
"The wind can be a factor, and that comes to play-calling, game decisions, special-teams decisions and things like that," Trestman said. "But the cold weather, if the wind is minimal, really should not affect the game."
The Bears have called 470 pass plays and 298 run plays this season, and that ratio hopefully will not be affected by the cold.
"You hope that you can continue to have an effect in the passing game," Kromer said. "The thing that can get you out of the passing game is something like happened in the Baltimore game when it was so wet and so windy. We couldn't even shotgun snap in that game. But I think that we'll continue to throw the ball in the cold."
In their last meeting with the Cowboys, the Bears picked off Tony Romo five times, including 2 by safety Major Wright.
Romo has been intercepted just seven times this season while throwing 24 touchdown passes for a 97.3 passer rating, eighth best in the NFL, one spot behind Josh McCown (103.6).
The native of Burlington, Wis., was undrafted out of Eastern Illinois in 2003, but through his first 100 starts (Week 7 this season), he threw for more yards (27,485) and completed more passes (2,262) than anyone in NFL history. He was Sports Illustrated's cover boy last week but downplayed its significance.
"That's just a bunch of stuff for people to talk about," Romo said. "I really don't think it has any bearing. It's always tough to be talked about, but none of it really matters. You've got to go play and win, and that's all it comes down to."
The Bears so far have been perfectly ready for prime time this season with a 3-0 record at night.
In Week 3 they defeated the Steelers 40-23 in Pittsburgh on a Sunday night. In Week 6 at Soldier Field they defeated the New York Giants 27-21 on a Thursday night, and in Week 9 they topped the Packers 27-20 on a Monday night in Green Bay.
"We've done very well in prime time this year," coach Marc Trestman said. "We played hard; we played consistently; we played a clean game."
By the numbers:
In three career games against Dallas, Brandon Marshall has 332 yards on 16 receptions (20.8-yard average), including 3 touchdowns. … In seven career games against the Cowboys, Julius Peppers has 7 sacks. He has 4½ sacks in the last three games and leads the Bears with 6½.