Wind chill a hot topic for Bears game

Updated 12/10/2013 1:06 AM

Monday night's game-time temperature of 8 degrees made it the coldest regular-season game the Dallas Cowboys have ever played in, easily breaking the previous low of 16 degrees set in a 1963 games against the Rams. The wind chill was minus-9.

The Bears have played nine other games in which the temperature was 10 degrees or lower, most recently in 2008 against Green Bay, when the game-time temperature was 2.


"It wasn't that bad, except I still can't feel my toes," quarterback Josh McCown said 45 minutes after the game ended. "But we thought we'd be OK after practicing outside Friday and Saturday because it was pretty cold then."

The Cowboys' previous coldest game this season was Nov. 24 in East Rutherford, N.J., when the temperature was 25 and the wind chill 18. They defeated the Giants 24-21.

The Cowboys were 11-15 in December with Tony Romo at quarterback, even though Romo's passer rating in December since 2009 was 106.3, second best in the NFL behind Aaron Rodgers' 109.0. Romo had a 109.2 passer rating Monday night but couldn't prevent another Dallas loss.

The coldest game in Cowboys history was the 1967 NFC championship game, a 21-17 loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field. The temperature was minus-13 degrees with a wind chill of minus-48.

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Dual threat:

Through 13 weeks, Brandon Marshall was fourth in the NFL with 78 receptions, on pace for 104, which would be his fifth with more than 100.

But Marshall also is one of the league's best blocking wide receivers.

"He's willing to do anything you ask him to do. We have a great receiver corps. They're unselfish in the run game," offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said.

"I've said it all year, whether it's downfield blocking a defensive back, or (when) they've blocked defensive ends on multiple occasions. They're willing to do it, and it helps us win."

Marshall may have thrown his best block of the season when he flattened Cowboys Pro Bowl linebacker Sean Lee on a 10-yard scramble by quarterback Josh McCown that set up the Bears' second TD.


Marshall also caught 6 passes for 100 yards and is on pace for 1,341 yards for the season.

A warm feeling:

Texas native Josh McCown has played most of his games in warm weather: at Sam Houston State, then in for seven of his 10 previous NFL seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders and Carolina Panthers.

But the veteran quarterback had a cold-weather plan going into Monday night, when the temperatures dipped into the teens.

"A good hand warmer obviously is important and those little hot packets help," McCown said. "For me, I just want my hands to feel kind of warm, almost sweaty. That's when I feel good.

"Some guys like to go with gloves and experiment with those a little bit. But I like just going straight up and doing it like always and try not to change anything if I can."

McCown said he tried gloves when the Bears practiced outside Friday and Saturday but felt more comfortable with bare hands.

By the numbers:

Even though he threw just 20 passes in the first game he relieved Jay Cutler and 9 the second time, backup quarterback Josh McCown is averaging a franchise-best 258.4 passing yards a game through 14 weeks.

Jay Cutler is third in franchise history with 238.5 yards, just behind Erick Kramer, who averaged 239.9 in 1995.

Brandon Marshall needed 10 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for the seventh straight season, which he picked up on his first catch of the game, a 14-yarder on the first possession. Marshall finished with a game-high 100 yards on 6 catches. Matt Forte needed 29 yards for his fourth 1,000-yard season, which he also picked up on the opening drive.


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