Cowboys dominant in a 42-7 win over the Colts
ARLINGTON, Texas – What does it mean? That’s in the eyes of the beholder.
Certainly for the Cowboys their game Sunday with their visitors from Indianapolis was quite important since their playoff chances depend on good results their final two games.
For the Colts, it’s not as cut and dry.
They’ve already clinched a home game in the AFC postseason by winning the AFC South title, but their chances of a number one or two seed in the conference were low due to tie breakers with New England and Denver. Hence the idea of resting some injured players was brought up throughout the week since the only thing on the line for the Colts was going up to a three seed or falling to a four as they head to AT&T Stadium to face a Dallas team fighting for their lives.
Receiver T.Y. Hilton was held out with a bad hamstring along with offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus yet the team continued the narrative that they were out to win their 11th game of the season.
Perhaps it would have been better had they announced they were out to get players ready for the playoffs because that’s how they seemed to play this afternoon.
From start to finish the Cowboys made sure the Colts never had a chance as they steamrolled the AFC South champions 42-7 Sunday afternoon in Arlington. The win gives Dallas an NFC East title and officially knocks the Colts out of contention for one of the top two seeds in the AFC Playoffs.
Led by Tony Romo, who threw four touchdowns, the Cowboys raced to a 28-0 first-half lead and never looked back as they dropped the Colts to 10-5 on the season.
Andrew Luck had his worst game in his three seasons in the NFL as he threw for a career-low 109 yards and two interceptions without a touchdown. The Colts’ rushing game picked up just a single yard–the least in a game in franchise history.
Romo led Dallas on their most time consuming drive in seven years to start off the game, but it was a Colts’ penalty that kept it going. After making a third down tackle linebacker Jerrell Freeman was called for taunting, giving the Cowboys a fresh set of downs. Romo would complete the 15-play, 8:24 drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams to make it 7-0.
Chuck Pagano called a trick play after the Colts went three-and-out on their first possession having punter Pat McAfee throw down field on a fake punt. His throw down the sidelines was true but it was dropped by Dewey McDonald. With the ball on the Colts’ 19-yard line the Cowboys converted on the next play as Romo hit Dez Bryant for the score to give the Cowboys a 14-0 lead.
Dallas was back at it again after a lackluster three-and-out by the Colts offense. Romo got the Cowboys down the field a bit quicker this time–75 yards in seven plays–but the result was the same. Romo found Cole Beasley over the middle and the receiver ducked under a high tackle attempt by D’Qwell Jackson and took it 24 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-0.
The same script followed on the next set of series for the teams. Indianapolis went three-and-out and Dallas took advantage with a 67-yard drive that was finished off by a DeMarco Murray one-yard touchdown run to make it 28-0.
Romo made it four passing touchdowns in the third quarter when he led another methodical drive against an overmatched Colts defense. It lasted over seven minutes, covered 76 yards and was finished on a Jason Whitten touchdown catch from Romo to make it 35-0. It was after that when Luck was replaced by Hasselbeck with just 109 yards passing.
Brandon Weeden took over for the Cowboys and was able to get a touchdown of his own as he hit Williams for a 47-yard scoring strike to make it 42-0. In the fourth quarter the Colts were finally able to break up the shutout when Hasselbeck hit Zurlon Tipton out of the backfield for a touchdown to salvage some pride in a difficult afternoon in Arlington.