Dec 4, 2014 10:06 PM
Romo helps Cowboys to 14-7 lead over Bears
The Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) Tony Romo threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Cole Beasley with 8 seconds left in the first half, lifting the Dallas Cowboys to a 14-7 lead over the Chicago Bears at the break on Thursday night.
DeMarco Murray accounted for 105 yards during a busy half for Dallas, which entered with an NFL-best 5-0 road record. The dynamic running back had 16 carries for 65 yards and a score, and also had eight receptions for 40 yards.
Jay Cutler was 10 for 13 for 100 yards and a touchdown in the first half for Chicago. Brandon Marshall had three receptions for 61 yards, but was out for the rest of the game after leaving in the second quarter with a ribs injury.
Dallas jumped in front on Murray's 1-yard TD run on fourth-and-goal with 10:53 left in the half. Murray also had a 4-yard run on fourth-and-1 from the Chicago 13.
Bruce Carter set up the 12-play drive when he got a hand on Patrick O'Donnell's punt for Chicago late in the first quarter. The punt traveled 21 yards and was downed on the Dallas 49, giving the Cowboys a short field for their third drive of the game.
Chicago responded with an eight-play, 80-yard drive to tie it at 7. Marshall had a terrific, juggling one-handed catch for 42 yards and then a 15-yard reception on fourth-and-7 to the Dallas 15. But Marshall took a knee to his side from safety Barry Church on the last grab, forcing him from the game.
Cutler capped the drive with a 12-yard TD pass to a wide-open Martellus Bennett with 6:18 to go.
Romo was 17 for 21 for 123 yards in the first half, opting to check down for much of the first two quarters.
The Bears were looking for their fourth consecutive victory over the Cowboys, including wins in each of the previous two seasons. They also played a night game at Soldier Field last December, with Matt Forte helping Chicago to a 45-28 victory on a brutally cold Monday.
The weather was just fine for this one, with a game-time temperature of 35 degrees.
Forte had just 5 yards on six carries at the break after he had a disappointing performance last week in Detroit.
The prime-time matchup featured a pair of teams hoping to bounce back from an awful performance on Thanksgiving.
Dallas lost 33-10 to Philadelphia in an NFC East showdown, and it faces the division-leading Eagles again next Sunday in Philadelphia. The Cowboys had dropped three of five since a six-game win streak, with their only victories in the difficult stretch coming against the lowly Jaguars and Giants.
Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent played for the first time since his intoxication manslaughter conviction for his role in a December 2012 crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown. He was suspended for the first 10 games of the season, and then was inactive for the victory over New York and the home loss to the Eagles.
Chicago lost 34-17 at Detroit last Thursday, likely dashing any fleeting hope for an unlikely playoff berth. The Bears ran the ball just eight times for 13 yards against the Lions, with Forte matching a career low with five carries for 6 yards.
The Bears played without kicker Robbie Gould (right quadriceps) and defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (knee), but receiver Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) and safety Chris Conte (eye) were available after being listed as questionable. Jay Feely, who signed with Chicago on Wednesday, handled the kicking duties.
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