Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Jenkins/AP/Shutterstock (13649171bq) Dallas Cowboys’ Michael Gallup (13) makes a touchdown catch against Indianapolis Colts’ Isaiah Rodgers (34) during the second half of an NFL football game, in Arlington, Texas Colts Cowboys Football, Arlington, United States – 04 Dec 2022
Cowboys put up dominating performance as they crush Colts 54-19
The most dominating win of the Cowboys’ season came on Sunday night with a 54-19 stomping of the Indianapolis Colts. Dallas has put together 30-plus point wins in two of the last three weeks, this one setting team records along the way.
The Cowboys set the record for most points in a fourth quarter in team history, scoring 33 points in the final period of action. The most encouraging part of this blowout was the contributions on both sides of the football. The defense caused five turnovers, and the offense capitalized on them.
Coming into the game, Indianapolis matched up well against the Cowboys despite the poor record. Indianapolis’ run defense has been solid all season, and the Dallas offense works best when they can effectively run the ball. On top of that, Jonathan Taylor is one of the best running backs in the game, and Dallas’ run defense has been a weak spot for most of the year. However, the Cowboys easily overcame the matchup expectations and dominated the game.
Dallas’ defense was as dominant as they have been all season forcing two fumbles and picking off Colts quarterback Matt Ryan three times. Former Colt Malik Hooker came up with an interception late in the second quarter, and rookie corner DaRon Bland picked off Ryan twice on back-to-back drives in the fourth. Hooker also scooped and scored a fumble in what turned out to be quite the revenge game for the Cowboys’ safety.
Dak Prescott and the offense started slowly in the first half but picked up steam later in the game. Prescott finished 20-of-30 for 170 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. This game was another example of the Dallas offense being more effective when Dak is not forced to throw the ball an exorbitant amount of times.
CeeDee Lamb was the leading receiver as he continues to look more like a number one receiver. He pulled in five balls for 71 yards and a touchdown. Michael Gallup contributed two touchdowns of his own on four catches and 23 yards.
The Cowboys were once again able to run the football effectively, totaling 220 yards on the ground and scoring four touchdowns. Tony Pollard scored two touchdowns on 12 carries for 91 yards as the leading rusher. Ezekiel Elliott also found success rushing for 77 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Third-string running back Malik Davis also contributed a touchdown late in the game on 29 yards rushing with three carries.
Though a massive win comes as a huge positive, it does not come without a negative attached to it. Dallas may have lost starting corner Anthony Brown for the season with a torn Achilles though it has not been fully confirmed.
The Cowboys would start with the football and struggle to move the football. They would start the day with a three-and-out. One negative led to another as on the punt, Cowboys corner Kelvin Joseph ran directly into the Colts’ return man giving the Colts great field position at around midfield.
The Colts would score on their opening drive, running six plays to the Dallas 33-yard line, where Chase McLaughlin would drill a 52-yard field goal giving Indianapolis a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter.
Dallas would respond on their next drive with a score of their own. They would start at their own 27-yard line and lead a 12-play drive resulting in their first touchdown of the night. On third down from the Colts 20-yard line, Dak would complete a pass over the middle to CeeDee Lamb where Lamb would break a tackle and run in the touchdown to give Dallas a 7-3 lead with five minutes left in the first. Lamb looked to have been tackled, but he rolled on top of the defender’s body, keeping him in play.
It would not take long for the Colts to take their lead back as they tacked on a touchdown of their own on the next possession. The score was set up by a deep 45-yard strike to rookie Alec Pierce setting them up at the Dallas 15-yard line. From there, Matt Ryan would complete a 14-yard touchdown pass to Ashton Dulin, giving the Colts a 10-7 lead with 2:37 remaining in the first.
After the first quarter concluded and both teams traded three-and-outs, Dallas would take the lead back with another touchdown early in the second quarter. A strong defensive stand set the Cowboys up with great field position at their own 44-yard line, where Tony Pollard would start finding a groove. Dallas would lead a six-play drive ending in a 2-yard rushing touchdown from Pollard, giving them a 14-10 lead.
The Colts’ next score would come with less than two minutes left in the second quarter. After Stephon Gilmore picked off Dak and returned it to the Dallas 19-yard line, the Cowboys’ defense would hold Indy to a 34-yard field goal cutting their lead to 14-13 with just under two minutes to play in the half. Dorance Armstrong tipped the kick, but it still wobbled in to convert the try.
Dallas would tack on another touchdown before the half ended off another great defensive stand. With one minute to go in the second half, Malik Hooker intercepted a tipped pass from Matt Ryan and returned it to the Colts 26-yard line. Dallas would then lead a five-play drive resulting in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Dak to Michael Gallup, giving the Cowboys a 21-13 lead heading into the second half.
Both teams traded unsuccessful drives to start the second half giving Indianapolis the ball back with just under 12 minutes to go in the third. Indy would lead a 15-play drive spanning over eight minutes from their own 10-yard line, resulting in a Colts touchdown. Alec Pierce would pull in a 15-yard pass from Matt Ryan despite great coverage from Kelvin Joseph to narrow the Dallas lead to 21-19. The Colts would go for two but fail to convert.
Dallas would answer back on their next possession which leaked into the fourth quarter. A 10-play drive spearheaded by a Tony Pollard 20-yard run would finish with another Michael Gallup touchdown. This one, a 3-yard goal line fade pass extending Dallas’ lead to 28-19 early in the fourth quarter.
Dallas’ defense would come up with a major score on the first play of Indy’s next drive. Rookie linebacker Damone Clark would force Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox to fumble the football allowing Malik Hooker to scoop and score, giving Dallas their biggest lead of the night. The defensive touchdown put Dallas up 34-19 after a failed 2-point conversion.
The Colts would get the ball back and immediately suffer another consequence courtesy of the Cowboys’ defense. Matt Ryan would throw his second interception of the game as rookie corner DaRon Bland picked off the pass, giving Dallas the ball back at the Cowboys 47-yard line.
It would take Dallas just three plays to add more to their score. Tony Pollard rushed for his second touchdown of the game on a 30-yard home run giving Dallas a 40-19 lead with just under 10 minutes to play in the game. The extra point attempt was blocked, keeping the lead at 21 points.
The domination for Dallas would continue on the ensuing drive. DaRon Bland would come up with his second interception of the game, giving Dallas the ball back at their own 28-yard line. This was Matt Ryan’s third interception of the game and Indy’s fourth turnover.
The next Dallas drive would break a record for the Cowboys. After a huge pass interference call on Indianapolis, resulting in a 44-yard gain, Dallas was set up for another scoring opportunity. After a pair of solid runs, Ezekiel Elliott would join the party, scoring on a four-yard touchdown run extending Dallas’ lead to 47-19. That score would set the record for the most points scored in the fourth quarter in Cowboys history.
The Cowboys would force yet another turnover on the next possession. Osa Odighizuwa strip-sacked Matt Ryan, where Sam Williams recovered it, giving Dallas great field position at the Colts 29-yard line.
Dallas would add more to their lead in just three plays with the backups in. Third-string running back Malik Davis would contribute a 23-yard rushing touchdown giving Dallas a 54-19 lead with two and a half minutes to go in the game.
The game would end with Indy taking a knee as Dallas scored the fifth most points in a game in team history, putting together the best fourth quarter they ever have.
The win puts Dallas at 9-3 on the season, sitting behind only the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings for the best record in the NFC.
Dallas will host the Houston Texans at home next week.