CHICAGO — In the span of three minutes, the legend of Alshon Jeffery got a new chapter on Monday night.
The second-year wideout can’t surprise anyone anymore — he broke his own franchise record with 249 yards receiving last week against the Vikings — but it doesn’t seem to matter who covers him.
Jeffery made two sensational catches in the first half of the Bears' 45-28 win over the Cowboys.
On first-and-10 with 3:10 to go in the second quarter from the Bears’ 41-yard line, Josh McCown lofted a pass down the left sideline in the frigid air. Jeffery leaped and showed off the incredible strength in his forearms, wrists and hands to catch the 23-yard pass.
It was the play only 2:53 later that will be remembered most from this game.
An hour or so before the Bears took on the Cowboys in a game that had windchill temperatures as low as nine below zero, McCown practiced 45-yard throws to the south endzone. That would come into play.
With 17 seconds left in the first half, the Bears had no timeouts and a three-point lead from the Cowboys’ 25-yard line. McCown had to go for the endzone, and he avoided pressure, then launched a pass to the deep right corner of that south endzone, where only one man on the field — and maybe one of only a handful in the league — could catch it.
Jeffery leaped at the pylon to catch the ball above Cowboys cornerback B.W. Webb with safety Jeff Heath coming over. Somehow, Jeffery got both feet in-bounds for a touchdown for the that left everyone stunned, with the "how did he do it?" face. The Bears went into the locker room with a 10-point lead.
On a night celebrating the records of Mike Ditka, Jeffery continued to make his mark on this Bears team, finishing with five catches for 84 yards.
Protecting McCown: The Bears’ quarterback had to scramble at times, but he generally had room in the pocket to pick apart Dallas’ woeful secondary. The Cowboys notched only one sack, and it came in the fourth quarter in a situation where McCown normally may have just thrown it away, but he didn’t want to take any chances. Per press box stats, Dallas had zero QB hits on the night. The performance came a week after allowing four sacks to the Vikings and is the sixth time this season Chicago has allowed zero or one sack in a game, a feat that occurred 10 times in the last two years combined.
Harassing Romo: James Anderson was just a split-second away from stopping the Vikings on fourth-and-11 last week, and he made up for it by helping the defense get after Tony Romo, especially on third down. On third-and-7 to start the second quarter of a tie game, Anderson blitzed the A-gap and sacked Romo. He got a pressure on Romo to help force an incomplete pass on 4th down in the 3rd quarter.
Boring night: Since joining the Bears in 2011, Adam Podlesh punted twice in a game only once, on Dec. 25, 2011. He punted zero times on Monday night, which may have been a long one for him in the cold.