Rather than stewing in the negativity of their overtime loss to the Vikings in Week 13, Bears players got on with their lives last week.
"I was very proud of our football team and some of the things they did throughout the week," coach Marc Trestman said. "We had a holiday party, on (last) Monday night.
"You don't necessarily want to go to a holiday party after a loss like that, but a lot of guys showed up. A lot of guys in the organization appreciated that. They could have stayed home and felt sorry for themselves, but they didn't."
Last Wednesday, 14 players went back to downstate Washington, Ill., to help with the ongoing tornado relief effort along with team chairman George McCaskey and president and CEO Ted Phillips.
"They could have stayed home and felt sorry for themselves, but a bunch a guys got on a bus to go down south and help some tornado victims," Trestman said. "I was very proud of our team for doing that. Not sit around on a day off and feel sorry for ourselves, but go down and help others."
The Bears still don't control their own destiny because the Lions, who have the same 7-6 record, own the tiebreaker over them by virtue of their sweep of the season series.
But the rout of the Cowboys on Monday allowed Marc Trestman's team to pick up a game on the Lions, who lost to the Eagles a day earlier.
"That's what this is all about," Trestman said. "To find out what we're all about. We really won't know until the end of the season, but we have an indication of what we're about and what we can be."
After losing three of four games, the Bears' postseason prospects appeared bleak, but Monday's bounce-back effort showed the kind of character that Trestman says he's seen all along.
"I've said this from the beginning -- we have a tremendous locker room of guys," the coach said. "Guys who truly have a sense of brotherly love and who work together and don't point fingers and don't worry about what's going on outside the building.
"They come to work every day. They're a joy to coach. Through wins and losses, I stand by that. Even after a very difficult and disappointing loss last week, we found out a lot more about ourselves."
Practice pays off:
One of the biggest differences between the loss to the Vikings and the victory over the Cowboys was the Bears' ability to convert on third down.
They succeeded on just 2 of 11 (18.2 percent) of their opportunities in Minnesota, their second-lowest conversion rate of the season. But Monday night, the Bears converted 73 percent (8-for-11), by far their best showing of a season in which they were averaging 37.8 percent, 14th in the league.
"Last week we were really disappointed because we had the plays, but we didn't execute them," coach Marc Trestman said. "So we went to work and made a commitment to not just having the right plays up, but executing them.
"Some of them we were in exactly the right position and play. And other times you saw Josh (McCown) run around and make a play.
"You have to make it a point of emphasis in practice, and that's what we did."
Hey look, defense:
Even though the defense got pounded on the ground for another 198 yards, it allowed just 328 total yards, its third-best effort of the season.
It was especially stout in the third quarter, when the Bears broke the game open by scoring on TD drives of 58 and 90 yards to go up 35-14. The Cowboys managed just 1 first down in the third quarter and ran only eight plays.
"Our defense made two stops," Trestman said. "We were able to stay on the field, move the football and score some points.
"I was really happy the way our defense made those stops in the second half, in a close game, and very excited that our guys stayed on the field offensively and scored points."
It was so cold that ... :
The temperature at kickoff Monday night was 8 degrees, the fourth-coldest temperature at kickoff for the Bears since 1963, and the coldest since it was 2 degrees Dec. 22, 2008, vs. Green Bay.
That Packers game is also the coldest temperature the Bears have played in since at least 1963. Monday's windchill of minus-9 was also fourth-coldest windchill for the Bears since at least 1963 and coldest since it was minus-13 for the Green Bay game.
The coldest wind chill on record in a Bears game was minus-15 vs. Green Bay on Dec. 18, 1983.
The Bears-Eagles game at Philadelphia on Dec. 22 has been flexed to a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.