CHICAGO - Neither the brutal cold nor one of the league's worst defenses could stop Josh McCown and the Chicago Bears.

McCown threw for a career-high four touchdowns, 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 Dallas Cowboys on a frigid Monday night.

The Bears (7-6) 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 (7-6) fell a game behind the Eagles in the NFC East.

The conditions didn't stop McCown from throwing for 348 yards or keep the Bears from running away with a lopsided victory after consecutive losses.

Alshon Jeffery's leaping catch between two defenders in the corner of the end zone in the closing seconds of the second quarter gave the Bears a 24-14 lead, and they continued to pour it on in the second half after a gut-wrenching overtime loss at Minnesota last week.

McCown, making his fourth straight start with Jay Cutler sidelined by a high left ankle sprain, completed 27 of 36 passes.

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.

Matt Forte chipped in with 102 yards rushing and 73 receiving, and the Bears racked up 490 yards in all.

Tony Romo threw for three touchdowns but completed just 11 of 20 passes for 104 yards. DeMarco Murray ran for 146 yards.

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.

The game-time temperature was 8 degrees.