CHICAGO – Matt Forte had nowhere to go for much of the night. He was surrounded every time he touched the ball for the Chicago Bears.
While Forte struggled for the second straight week, DeMarco Murray found plenty of room to run for the Dallas Cowboys.
Forte managed just 26 yards on 13 carries in Chicago's 41-28 loss on Thursday. He also had eight receptions for 74 yards, but most of those gains occurred with the game out of hand in the final quarter.
"Lack of execution," Forte said when asked about the stymied running game. "You know, it would be a missed block here, or blocking the wrong person there. It's many things."
Forte matched a career low with five carries for 6 yards in last Thursday's 34-17 at Detroit. The Bears (5-8) have rushed for just 140 yards in their last three games.
"We tried to run the football," Chicago coach Marc Trestman said. "They certainly were making every attempt to stop the run. There were some run blitzes and some edge blitzes, just to try to knock us off. We missed a couple of blocks along the way, but it was evident."
While Forte had few noticeable running lanes, Murray scampered through huge holes on his way to a season-high 179 yards on 32 carries. The dynamic running back also had a team-high nine receptions for 49 yards.
Murray put Dallas in front with a 1-yard TD run on fourth-and-goal with 10:50 left in the second quarter. He had 114 yards rushing in the second half alone.
"I pride myself on starting fast and finishing strong," said Murray, who leads the NFL with 1,606 yards on the ground.
Joseph Randle added a 17-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for the Cowboys (9-4), who scored 28 straight points to open a 35-7 lead heading into the final period. Tony Romo was 21 for 26 for 205 yards and three touchdowns.
Jay Cutler was 32 of 46 for 341 yards and two touchdowns for Chicago, which has lost five of seven. Martellus Bennett had a career-high 12 receptions for 84 yards and a TD, and Alshon Jeffery finished with six grabs for 95 yards and a score.
Brandon Marshall's juggling 42-yard reception set up Bennett's 12-yard score in the second quarter. But Marshall departed with injured ribs after he took a knee to his right side from Barry Church following a big fourth-down reception on the same drive.
Marshall left Soldier Field in an ambulance, but a post to his Twitter account thanked fans for their prayers and said he was good.
"It's a big loss," said Forte, who had a 1-yard TD run and a 2-point conversion in the fourth. "Guys got to step up in his place and play, but you know you can't replace a guy like Brandon like that. He was having a good game, too."
The Bears got the ball to begin the second half, but Forte lost a fumble and Romo turned the mistake into a 24-yard touchdown pass to Cole Beasley. He then passed to a wide-open Gavin Escobar for a 6-yard score with 8:02 left in the third, increasing Dallas' lead to 28-7.
The Cowboys stopped a three-game slide against the Bears, including losses in each of the previous two seasons. They also played a night game at Soldier Field last December, with Forte helping the Bears to a 45-28 victory on a brutally cold Monday.
Dallas was coming off a 33-10 loss to Philadelphia on Thanksgiving, and it faces the division-leading Eagles again next Sunday in Philadelphia.
"It's definitely important to come back and get a W, especially after the loss we had last week," said Beasley, who also had a 13-yard touchdown reception late in the first half. "That's the main thing we wanted to do tonight, except we wanted to do it in a little better fashion. We didn't finish as strong as we wanted to."
NOTES: The Bears also lost S Chris Conte to a back injury in the third quarter. ... Jay Feely, who signed with Chicago on Wednesday, handled the kicking duties after Robbie Gould was sidelined by a right quadriceps injury.
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