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Bears begin prepping to face Cowboys Monday night

Four days after their heartbreaking overtime loss to the Vikings, the Bears return to the practice field Thursday to prepare for Monday night's home game against the Cowboys.

The Bears (6-6) enter Week 14 in second place in the NFC North, one game behind the Lions (7-5). With Detroit owning the tiebreaker due to a season sweep, the Bears must make up two games on the Lions with only four remaining to win the division title.


The Bears and Cowboys will square off on Monday Night Football for the second straight season.
It is not yet known whether quarterback Jay Cutler will be able to return Monday night from a high ankle sprain that has forced him to miss the last three games. Cutler, who was hampered by a torn groin muscle earlier in the season, hasn't started and finished a game since Oct. 10.

Josh McCown has excelled in relief. Appearing in the last six games with four starts, he has completed 65.2 percent of his passes for 1,461 yards with nine touchdowns, one interception and an impressive 103.6 passer rating that ranks seventh in the NFL.

In last Sunday's loss to the Vikings, McCown connected on 23 of 36 passes for a season-high 355 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 114.9 passer rating.

The Bears boast the NFL's top receiving tandem in Brandon Marshall (78 receptions for 990 yards and nine TDs) and Alshon Jeffery (70-1,109-5), who have combined for 1,805 yards, the most by any duo in the league.

Jeffery broke his own Bears single-game record last Sunday in Minnesota by compiling 249 yards on 12 receptions, including touchdowns of 80 and 46 yards. He is the first receiver in franchise history to post two 200-yard games, having amassed 218 yards in a Week 5 loss to the Saints.

Since joining the Bears prior to last season, Marshall leads the NFL with 196 catches, is tied for second with 20 TD receptions, ranks second with 12 100-yard games and is third with 2,498 yards.

The Cowboys (7-5) are in first place in the NFC East after winning two straight games following their bye week. Dallas has been off since defeating the Raiders on Thanksgiving Day. Like the Bears, the Cowboys defense has struggled this season, ranking last in the NFL in total yards.

The Dallas offense is led by quarterback Tony Romo, who has completed 285 of 440 passes for 3,140 yards with 24 TDs, seven interceptions and a 97.3 passer rating.

After allowing an average of 102 yards in the first six games this season, the Bears run defense has yielded an average of 205 yards in the last six contests, including 246 against the Vikings and a season-high 258 the previous Sunday versus the Rams.

The Bears trail the all-time series with the Cowboys 13-10 but have won two straight, both in Dallas. The teams have split eight all-time match-ups at Soldier Field.

The Bears won the last meeting 34-18 at Cowboys Stadium on Oct. 1, 2012, also on Monday Night Football. The Chicago defense intercepted five Romo passes, returning two for touchdowns, while Cutler threw for 275 yards and two TDs and Marshall caught seven passes for 138 yards.

In total yards, the Bears offense ranks 8th in the NFL (19tht rushing and 6th passing), while the Cowboys defense ranks 32nd (27th against the run and 31st versus the pass). The Bears defense is 28th overall (32nd against the run and 14th versus the pass, while the Cowboys offense is 23rd (27th rushing and 15th passing). will provide all the latest Bears news throughout the week from Halas Hall. Coach Marc Trestman is scheduled to address the media Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis will be available Thursday, while offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer will speak Friday.

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