CHICAGO — Neither the brutal cold nor one of the league's worst defenses could stop Josh McCown and the Bears.
McCown threw for a career-high four touchdowns and ran for one, 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 Cowboys on Monday night.
The Bears retired Hall of Famer Mike Ditka's number at halftime and pulled even with Detroit in the division race on a night when the wind chill factor was below zero. Dallas fell a game behind Philadelphia in the NFC East.
Ditka, now an ESPN analyst, played for (1963) and coached (1985) Chicago's two most recent league champions.
Alshon Jeffery's leaping catch between two defenders in the corner of the end zone late in the second quarter gave the Bears a 24-14 lead. They continued to pour it on in the second half after a gut-wrenching overtime loss last week at Minnesota.
McCown, in his fourth straight start with Jay Cutler (high left ankle sprain) out, completed 27 of 36 for 348 yards.
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.
Tony Romo threw for three touchdowns but completed just 11 of 20 passes for 104 yards. DeMarco Murray ran for 146 yards, but the Cowboys were overmatched.
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.