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At midfield of Texas Stadium, Thomas Jones gripped the shaved head of his little brother, Julius, and embraced the star of Thursday's 21-7 Cowboys victory over the Bears.
Thomas then smiled through gritted teeth, Julius flashed a toothy grin and the cameras clicked for the family photo album.
A few feet away, college teammates David Terrell of the Bears and Drew Henson of the Cowboys posed for their hand-picked photographer.
Personal snapshots aside, this holiday was anything but picture-perfect for a Bears team that probably would prefer destroying any photographic evidence of a second straight ugly loss.
"We're playing pretty terrible right now," defensive end Alex Brown said. "It was tough out there."
The small but vocal group of Bears fans in the crowd of 64,026 and a holiday TV audience across America can attest that it was just as hard to watch.
Even more than the gaudy bright orange jerseys they wore Thursday, the Bears' offense made those fans want to cover their eyes.
The unit failed to produce a touchdown for the second time in the last three weeks and gained only 140 total yardsthe fourth time this season it had fallen below the 200-yard mark.
"You have to be able to complete a couple passes, and we haven't been able to do that lately," said Bears coach Lovie Smith, his Texas homecoming ruined.
Both teams wore throwback uniforms as part of an NFL promotion and received quarterback play that harkened back to an era before the forward pass.
Bears starting quarterback Craig Krenzel was on the verge of being replaced by Jonathan Quinn before spraining his ankle early in the second quarter. Krenzel called it a high ankle sprain and used a walking boot and crutches to leave the locker room.
With Krenzel's health iffy and Quinn's substitute performance Thursday as shaky as ever, Smith left open the possibility of No. 3 Chad Hutchinson getting a look with nine days until the Dec. 5 game against Minnesota.
"We're looking at everyone," Smith said. "Who gives us the best chance? Can you play quarterback? That's about what we have right now."
Indeed, before Krenzel departed he had committed his 13th turnover in six games, a botched snap. But Quinn struggled just as mightily in completing 10 of 21 passes for 86 yards and two interceptions for a rating of 19.2.
The tentativeness that earned Quinn a demotion earlier this season resurfaced. Down 14-7, Quinn's worst decision came with the Bears in need of a scoring drive with 11 minutes left in the game when he forced a sideline pass to David Terrell into double coverage. Cornerback Terence Newman intercepted at the Cowboys' 47.
"A miscommunication between [Terrell] and I," Quinn said.
Seven plays later, Julius Jones scored his second touchdown of the gamea 4-yard runto ensure this would be an unhappy Thanksgiving for the Bears.
Suffice it to say Jones enjoyed the family reunion more than his big brother, gaining 150 yards on 33 carries. As Edgerrin James did Sunday, Jones cut up a Bears defense that came in believing it was better than it showed.
"If you're looking at the game and thinking we're regressing is the reason we're losing, you're not watching the same game I am," defensive end Adewale Ogunleye said.
It bugged Ogunleye and the Bears because they knew that had they stopped the run better, the Cowboys did not look capable of beating them through the air. The Cowboys' quarterback play was so bad that one fan held up a sign toward the TV booth that said, "Troy (Aikman), How's Your Shoulder?"
Coach Bill Parcells benched Henson, making his first NFL start, and turned to veteran Vinny Testaverde in the second half. Testaverde tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to fullback Darian Barnes with 11:07 left in the game to put the Cowboys ahead 14-7, but even that drive was fueled by Jones on the ground.
"It's not being where you're supposed to be, it's lack of focus," linebacker Lance Briggs said. "I think he's a good back, but I don't think he's as good as we made him look."
At least the defense kept the game respectable, again giving the Bears their best scoring opportunities. This time, it was cornerback R.W. McQuarters.
With the Cowboys leading 7-0 with 5:57 left in the second quarter, Henson errantly threw off his back foot and McQuarters easily read the play. He plucked the ball out of the air and raced 45 yards down the sideline. It gave the Bears their NFL-high fifth touchdown on defense.
McQuarters also provided the best run for the Bears in the second half, but it turned out to be irrelevant.
Testaverde floated a deep ball intended for wide receiver Terrance Copper, and McQuarters leaped to make his second interception. In a swing typifying the Bears of late, McQuarters lost control of the ball and fumbled it back to the Cowboys at the end of an exciting 45-yard return.
Smith named that play and Paul Edinger's missed 48-yard field goal as two of the Bears' biggest blown opportunities.
"I don't know what happened [on the fumble]," McQuarters said.
The offense left town with more questions than the defense. Besides the quarterback quandary, the Bears had no answer for Dallas' run defense.
It hurt that right tackle John Tait left the game with a sprained right knee and left guard Ruben Brown did not play because of a neck injury. But the Bears needed more than 49 rushing yards on 20 carries to help a defense that sounded as if it might be getting weary from carrying such a heavy load for so long.
Asked if the offense's three turnovers demoralized the defense, Ogunleye answered, "One or two [turnovers], no, but when it keeps happening and happening it wears on the whole team, not just the defense."
The Bears will get the weekend off to refresh, recharge and regroup for a final month that Smith believes still holds meaning in spite of Thursday's dismal showing, which dropped the Bears to 4-7.
"Where do we go from here? We'll look at all positions," he said. "We felt like 10-6 would get us in [the playoffs], but 9-7, there's a chance you can too. So there's still a lot to fight for."