Bears lead Cowboys 10-7 at halftime

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 01, 2012
Charles Tillman returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown and Robbie Gould kicked a 43-yard field goal to give the Chicago Bears a 10-7 halftime lead over the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night. The interception by Tillman, on a ball thrown right to him by Tony Romo, came on the third play after Gould's field goal late in the second quarter. Dallas responded to that quick 10-point surge by going 80 yards on nine plays, capped by Romo's 10-yard TD pass to Miles Austin with 14 seconds left in the half. Austin had three catches for 41 yards in the half, all on that drive. Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte returned to the Bears lineup after missing the last game with a sprained right ankle and being limited in practice all week. He had seven carries for 42 yards by halftime. Gould's field goal with 4:15 left in the half came at the end of a drive when the Bears wiped out a 13-yard gain on first-and-15 to instead accept a 5-yard penalty. Jay Cutler had hit Brandon Marshall on a pass that officials marked at the Dallas 26, but coach Lovie Smith took a 5-yard illegal contact penalty that set up first-and-10 at the 34. Forte then had runs of 5 and 4 yards before Michael Bush was stuffed for no gain on third down, bringing out Gould to cap the 13-play, 69-yard drive. After Dallas got the ball back, Romo hit Jason Witten for a 5-yard gain before DeMarco Murray fumbled and recovered it for a 4-yard loss. Murray had only 13 yards on seven carries. Romo's intended target on his pick was Dez Bryant, but the receiver was still running up the field when the ball was thrown behind him. Tillman, one of five 30-something starters on Chicago's defense, initially bobbled the ball after it hit him right in the hands. He ran untouched down the right sideline for an easy score. Chicago's last two touchdowns were interception returns. Major Wright had a 45-yard return in the fourth quarter in the 23-6 win over St. Louis last week. Romo was 17-of-21 passing for 168 yards. Cutler was 7 of 12 for 56 yards. The Bears had an NFL-high 14 sacks through the first three weeks of the season, and upped that total on the first series when Henry Melton sacked Romo on third-and-7 from the Bears 40. Melton is from nearby Grapevine and played running back at the University of Texas. The Cowboys were already without linebacker Anthony Spencer because of a strained pectoral. Then inside starting linebacker Bruce Carter suffered a left hip injury in the first quarter and his return was questionable. Both the roof and the huge doors were open at Cowboys Stadium, the first time since a Monday night game against the New York Giants two years ago that it was like that. The announced game-time temperature was 80 degrees on a clear October night in Texas. Cowboys punter Chris Jones was out with a sprained left knee after being hit during the win over Tampa Bay last week. The Cowboys signed veteran Brian Moorman after he was released last week by Buffalo. Moorman punted three times, two of them at his 6. --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
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