GRIN AND BEAR IT: Highs and Lows from the Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears game

Dallas Cowboys' Jason Witten catches a pass for a touchdown between Chicago Bears defenders - The Boys Are Back blog

ARLINGTON — On an otherwise dismal night for the Dallas Cowboys, tight end Jason Witten found a way to cure his season-long battle with dropped passes.

Witten, who dropped an NFL-high five passes in the team’s first three games, grabbed the first seven passes sent in his direction by quarterback Tony Romo during Monday’s 34-18 loss to the Chicago Bears at Cowboys Stadium.

Witten finished with a team-high 13 catches for 112 yards — with no drops — and a 5-yard touchdown catch on the final possession. He more than doubled his season totals for receptions and yardage. Witten entered with eight catches for 76 yards in the team’s first three games.

Soldier Field South?

The noise generated by Bears’ fans during the game made it unclear, at times, which team was playing at home. Especially during a "Let’s Go, Bears" chant in the fourth quarter.

The loudest cheers came on Lance Briggs’ 74-yard interception return for a third-quarter touchdown that upped the Bears’ lead to 24-7. Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton, a former Grapevine and Texas player, caused the interception. The play came one snap after Dallas had recovered a fumble in Bears’ territory with an opportunity to cut into a 17-7 deficit.

"That’s what happens when you don’t give the fans anything to cheer for," Cowboys safety Brandon Carr said. "I don’t like to get embarrassed, especially on national TV. I’m frustrated."

Going backward

Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray had five runs that produced negative yardage against the Bears, all in the first three quarters. He had seven in last week’s 16-10 victory over Tampa Bay. Murray had only 14 carries for negative yards in 13 games last season.

Murray also fumbled in the first quarter and dropped a pitchout from Romo in the second. The second fumble was credited to Romo, who also threw five interceptions, tying a career high.

Dallas Cowboys' Felix Jones looks for room to run - The Boys Are Back blog

Unwanted first

Cowboys cornerbacks surrendered their first touchdown of the season when Devin Hester beat rookie Morris Claiborne for a sliding, 34-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. The ball moved when Hester hit the ground, triggering a replay review. Based on the reaction by Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, it was clear the Dallas sideline thought the catch would be overturned.

The Cowboys came up short on another third-quarter review after a Claiborne fumble recovery was overturned when the Bears’ receiver was ruled down by contact.

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) trips up Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester - The Boys Are Back blog

Triple-digit Dez

Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (8 catches, 105 yards) had the second 100-yard receiving night of his career and his first since Nov. 14, 2010 against the New York Giants in his rookie season.

Dez Bryant - The Boys Are Back blog

Carter injured

Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter injured his left hip on the team’s opening defensive series but later returned to the game. He finished with two tackles.

Starters absent

Three Cowboys’ defensive starters were declared inactive before the game because of injuries: DE Kenyon Coleman (knee), DT Jay Ratliff (ankle) and LB Anthony Spencer (pectoral muscle). A fourth starter, safety Barry Church, suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in last week’s victory over Tampa Bay. The respective replacements in Monday’s starting lineup were Sean Lissemore (Coleman), Josh Brent (Ratliff), Victor Butler (Spencer) and Danny McCray (Church).

Roof, doors open

For only the fifth time in stadium history, the Cowboys played a game with both the roof and the doors open. With Monday’s loss, Dallas is 1-4 in those games. The team fell to 14-12 in regular-season games at Cowboys Stadium.

Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo (from left) teammate Dallas Cowboys' Kyle Orton and others sit on the bench - The Boys Are Back blog

Jenkins tries safety

Cornerback Mike Jenkins made his debut at safety, taking snaps at the position during the team’s nickel package. Last week, cornerback Brandon Carr played safety while starters Gerald Sensabaugh and Barry Church nursed injuries against Tampa Bay.

Penalty check

The Cowboys, who had six false-start penalties in last week’s victory over Tampa Bay, had none against Chicago.

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