BREAKING THE COLTS: 5 observations from the Cowboys’ win on Sunday over Indianapolis

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tony Gutierrez/AP/Shutterstock (13649171cc) Dallas Cowboys’ DaRon Bland (26) reacts after an interception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, in Arlington, Texas Colts Cowboys Football, Arlington, United States – 04 Dec 2022

BREAKING THE COLTS: 5 observations from the Cowboys’ win on Sunday over Indianapolis

The Cowboys (9-3) got three touchdown passes from quarterback Dak Prescott and scored 33 points in the fourth quarter to blow out the Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1) on Sunday night, 54-19, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Ground game leads offense

Another week, another solid outing from the Cowboys’ running game.

Dallas finished with 385 total yards, 220 of those coming by way of a ground attack that featured Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, Malik Davis, and CeeDee Lamb.

Pollard led the way with 91 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns, while Elliott had 77 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown. Davis added 29 yards and one touchdown in mop-up duty late in the fourth quarter. Lamb had 23 yards on a pair of first-half carries.

The offense was up and down in the first half. Along with three touchdown drives, they also had three three-and-out drives.

Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore kept the offense balanced in the first 30 minutes, with 20 running plays and 21 passing plays. Dallas had 208 total yards, including 98 yards from the running game.

Moore got Lamb involved with back-to-back runs in the second quarter that netted the Cowboys 23 yards. Elliott finished the first half with 41 yards on 10 carries, while Pollard had 34 yards on eight carries.

Prescott good enough

It was not his best performance, but it was enough from Dak Prescott to push the Cowboys to a win on Sunday night.

Prescott was far from perfect. He had his moments, throwing high or behind to several receivers, but he finished with 20 completions on 30 passes for 170 yards.

He tossed three touchdown passes, one to CeeDee Lamb (20 yards) and two to Michael Gallup (13 yards, 3 yards).

In the first half, he started hot, completing four of his first six passes. But finished going just 12-of-20 for 115 yards. He threw an interception to Stephon Gilmore with Dallas up 14-10. The Colts turned it into a field goal.

Turnovers key in win

After being in a dogfight for the first three quarters, the Cowboys’ defense took over in the fourth quarter, helping lead the team to five touchdowns and a blowout victory.

Cowboys safety Malik Hooker got the party started with a 38-yard scoop-and-score fumble recovery to give the Cowboys a 34-19 lead.

On the next Colts series, Cowboys corner DaRon Bland intercepted Matt Ryan at the Cowboys’ 47-yard line. Three plays later, Tony Pollard paid it off with a 30-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 40-19 after a blocked extra point.

The very next series, Bland intercepted Ryan again, this time at the Dallas 28-yard line. The Cowboys found the end zone just six plays later to push the lead to 28 points.

Finally, with just over four minutes to go, Sam Williams recovered a Matt Ryan fumble at the Indianapolis 29-yard line. It was the fifth turnover of the night for the Cowboys.

Defense arrives late

The Colts came into the game with a clear game plan, run the football to open up the pass.

It worked for the first three quarters, as Indianapolis put up 309 yards of total offense on Sunday night.

The Colts had 90 yards rushing, led by Jonathan Taylor with 82 yards on 21 carries. The 3.9 yard average allowed Matt Ryan and the passing game to open up.

Ryan finished with 233 yards on 21-of-37 passing and two touchdowns. But the Colts fell behind, and the defense turned up the pressure, forcing Ryan into mistakes. The Colts quarterback threw three interceptions, all of which turned into Cowboys touchdowns, the third pushing the Cowboys lead to 28 points midway through the fourth quarter.

Prescott moves to third

Quarterback Dak Prescott now has 156 touchdown passes in his Cowboys career, good for third on the all-time list in team history.

He moved to fourth alone with his pass to CeeDee Lamb that turned into a 20-yard score in the first quarter. That touchdown broke the tie at 153 with Roger Staubach on the list.

After tying Danny White on the list with his touchdown throw to Michael Gallup to end the first-half scoring, he moved into sole possession of third – behind only Troy Aikman (165) and Tony Romo (248) – with his three-yard TD throw to Gallup in the early in the fourth quarter.

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