ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Like any polite houseguest, Bears cornerback Charles Tillman accepted a generous gift without protest Monday at Cowboys Stadium.
Tillman, who benefited from a miscommunication between Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant, stood still as Romo’s pass headed straight for his hands in the second quarter. He caught the ball for an interception and returned it 25 yards for the game’s first touchdown to extend the Bears’ lead to 10-0.
The play marked Tillman’s sixth pick-six in 10 seasons with the Bears. Tillman already owned the franchise record for interceptions returned for touchdowns, which he set last season when he moved past Mike Brown and Bennie McRae (four apiece).
Tillman also moved within seven interceptions of the Bears’ all-time record of 38, which Gary Fencik achieved from 1976-87.
Fading fast: By the time they enter their fifth NFL season, first-round draft picks are supposed to be enjoying the prime of their careers.
That’s not the case for Bears tackle Chris Williams, who is sliding backward in a hurry.
Williams, the Bears’ top pick in 2008, was a healthy scratch for Monday’s game. He was replaced on the 45-man active roster by offensive lineman Jonathan Scott, who joined the Bears on Sept. 10 after starting 28 games in parts of five seasons with Detroit, Buffalo and Pittsburgh.
The benching marked the latest step in Williams’ downward spiral with the Bears. He started 38 games in his first four seasons and competed for a starting job at left tackle this preseason, but he lost out to J’Marcus Webb and has played little since then.
For those who have waited to deem Williams as a first-round bust, now is a good time. He was part of a long list of disappointing high-round picks that included Marc Colombo, Michael Haynes, Cedric Benson, Mark Bradley, Dan Bazuin and Jarron Gilbert.
Club 10K: Jay Cutler became the fifth quarterback in Bears history to pass for 10,000 yards with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Devin Hester in the third quarter.
Cutler achieved the feat in his 45th game with the Bears, which is fewer than anyone else in the five-digit club. He joined all-time leader Sid Luckman (14,686 yards) as well as Jim Harbaugh (11,567 yards), Jim McMahon (11,203 yards) and Erik Kramer (10,582 yards).
If Cutler stays healthy, he could break Luckman’s record by the middle of next season.
Bears bits: Wide receiver Earl Bennett did not play Monday because of a hand injury. He was replaced by Dane Sanzenbacher. … Former Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach was in attendance and received a loud ovation when he was shown on the scoreboard.