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The Bears defeated the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night before the ball was even kicked off, according to Chicago receiver Brandon Marshall, who thinks the chilly conditions affected the visiting team's psyche.
Marshall made the assessment based on observations of the Cowboys during pregame warmups at Soldier Field. Temperature at kickoff was 8 degrees, with a wind chill of minus-9 and 14 mph winds.
"We beat Dallas last night before the game started," Marshall said Tuesday during the "Jay Cutler Show" on ESPN 1000. "When it was [receiver] Alshon [Jeffery], myself, Earl Bennett and some of the other guys outside warming up pregame, there was only a handful of Dallas players. I looked around and I said, 'Man, we've got these guys.' "
The Bears racked up 490 yards of offense as Josh McCown tossed four touchdown passes and ran for another in a 45-28 thrashing of the Cowboys. Marshall led the way for the Bears with a game-high 100 yards on six receptions, while Jeffery contributed five grabs for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Bennett said the weather "wasn't that bad to me," and that "some guys just sucked it up. Pretty much the whole team didn't wear any sleeves."
McCown was the only Chicago starter on offense to play the game wearing a long-sleeved shirt, while the rest of the players played sleeveless. In the two days of practice leading into Monday night's game, the Bears worked outside at Halas Hall, and the majority of the team's skill-position players didn't wear sleeves.
We beat Dallas last night before the game started. When it was [receiver] Alshon [Jeffery], myself, Earl Bennett and some of the other guys outside warming up pregame, there was only a handful of Dallas players. I looked around and I said, 'Man, we've got these guys.'” -- Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall
"The elements were already in their heads," Marshall said. "So pregame, I believe that we won. I'm pretty sure there [would have been] more guys out there if it wasn't colder, but they weren't out there. For us, once you start putting on sleeves and start doing things differently, you buy into the elements and the game is over."
But after the game, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who caught two passes for 12 yards and a touchdown, said: "I don't think the weather was too much of a factor."
During the week leading into Monday's game, former Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis described the atmosphere within that organization as "Hollywood," and two of the team's former players, tight end Martellus Bennett and defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff, agreed.
"I mean, I'm a Hollywood person. I would agree with [DeCamillis and Ratliff]," Bennett said. "Since I've been born, I've been meant to be on Disney. But they don't really like to take too many kids from the 'hood and put them on Disney nowadays. But for the most part, it's different. Everything here is based on football, and [there's] just a different type of chemistry with this team. Everybody is just about football all the time."