Marc Trestman broke out the heaters in practice for the Bears this week. Jason Garrett sent the Cowboys outside on a bitterly cold day in Dallas.

Both coaches were preparing for a frigid Monday night game in Chicago, with temperatures likely to be in the teens and a wind chill possibly below zero.

"Everything we're doing is a dress rehearsal for Monday night," Trestman said. "We can't control the digits out there in terms of what the weather is. But we can go out there and work and practice fast and do it efficiently."

It's like any other day for Trestman to simulate a December game in the Windy City. Garrett was actually lucky that a rare winter storm covered the Dallas area in ice for two days.

The Cowboys were forced inside for a day at a high school facility because there was too much ice on their field at team headquarters Friday. But with temperatures still in the low 20s Saturday, the Cowboys held their last full practice of the week outside.

It didn't really matter one way or the other to cornerback Orlando Scandrick.

"I'm not a believer that it helps at all because whether I practice in it or whether I play in it, you're going to be cold," Scandrick said. "You're going to have to have the mental toughness and the focus and just the will to go out and do it."

Dallas (7-5) got a similar break before the first of back-to-back wins. Before facing the New York Giants two weeks ago, the first cold spell of the season hit Dallas, and Garrett kept his players outside all week.

The Cowboys took a 21-6 lead in the third quarter, and after they squandered it, Tony Romo led a 14-play drive to Dan Bailey's winning field goal on the final play.

"I think for the people that it matters, your quarterback, I think he does a real good job of throwing in that weather," Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said of Romo, who played at Eastern Illinois. "He grew up in Wisconsin. I think he plays well in it, and I think all of us have to adjust to it and be able to handle the surface more than anything."

Bears quarterback Josh McCown, on the other hand, grew up in Texas, played in college there at SMU and Sam Houston State, and made more than half his NFL starts in Arizona.

"A good hand warmer obviously is important, and those little hot packets in there help," said McCown, expected to make his fourth straight start with Jay Cutler sidelined by an ankle injury. "For me, I just want my hands to feel kind of warm, almost sweaty. That's when I feel good."

Romo's center, rookie first-round pick Travis Frederick, also grew up in Wisconsin and remembers playing a high school game in sub-zero temperatures. He was asked a lot about his long beard after he was drafted, with 100-degree days coming soon.

Frederick did trim it for the summer, but it's getting long again — and looked a lot more appropriate during the cold spells.

"If I had to choose between really, really hot or really cold, I would choose cold," Frederick said.

That's what he'll get Monday night.


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