Cowboys vs. Colts score, takeaways: Defenses forces four second-half turnovers as Dallas blows out Indy


The Cowboys moved to 9-3 on the season after fielding the Colts Sunday night, 54-19.

Indy gave Dallas a run for his money out of the gate, scoring 10 points on his first two possessions to take an early lead. The Cowboys were able to initiate a few touchdown drives to jump ahead, but the Colts had a chance to go into the break with a surprising lead, especially after Stephon Gilmore knocked out Dak Prescott with just under three minutes to play in the match. second quarter. Matt Ryan and Co. however, were held to just a field goal for that possession and the veteran quarterback threw a pick on the next drive, leading to a five-play touchdown march by Dallas to go up by eight before halftime.

In the second half, Indianapolis was again the first to start the scoring thanks to a 15-yard touchdown catch by Alec Pierce, but couldn’t even tie with Dallas after a two-point attempt on Parris Campbell failed. The Cowboys absorbed that blow and responded with a 75-yard touchdown drive through the offense. At that point, the defense did the rest, forcing Indianapolis four straight turnovers to sideline the game.

Dak Prescott completed 20 of his 30 passes for 170 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Tony Pollard and Michael Gallup both found the end end zone twice. On the other hand, Matt Ryan made 21 of 37 passes for 233 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions.

Check out our takeaways below for a more detailed look at how this game unfolded.

Why the Cowboys won

As we continue to view Dallas as a Super Bowl threat, the main reason is their defense. That was on full display in the fourth quarter, where the Cowboys completely slammed the door on the Colts, potentially upsetting them. After allowing a 15-run touchdown drive that traveled 90 yards and put Indy within two points of tying the score, Dan Quinn’s defense flipped a switch. the offense gave them some cushion as they made a 75-yard touchdown drive of their own, to extend the lead to nine, but they didn’t need it. The fourth quarter was a defensive avalanche with four straight turnovers, including a scoop and a Malik Hooker score. Even when the defense didn’t score on their own, they were setting up the attack to make money, which they did after each of the next three turnovers. That resulted in a 33–0 run in the fourth quarter that allowed Dallas to ride to its ninth win.

Those 33 points tie for the second most points scored by a team in the fourth quarter of a game in NFL history.

Of course, the defense will be the main story coming out of this game, but the running game also had its moments. As a team, Dallas rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns. That was largely led by Tony Pollard—who started Sunday night even with a healthy Ezekiel Elliott on the roster—with 91 yards total and two touchdowns on the ground.

CeeDee Lamb was also a difference maker in the passing game. Not only did he find the end zone and lead the team in receiving, but as Dallas continued to move him, he cleared others to make impact plays as well. A good example of that was Michael Gallup’s first touchdown on the day in the second quarter. Lamb gestured to the left, forcing Stephon Gilmore, who originally covered Gallup, to stay on the outside. Gallup worked in the middle of the field and eventually connected with Prescott, who rolled to the right for the score.

Why the Colts lost

Indianapolis seemed to give the Cowboys the best punch, but it just wasn’t strong enough to make a lasting impact. They took advantage of some shortfields initially and built a small lead early, but the offensive line allowed the Dallas front to come home late in the first half. After jumping to a 10-7 lead, Matt Ryan was sacked for back-to-back possession on third and forced Indy to put the ball away. After that, they were held to just a field goal, despite the defense knocking out Prescott and immediately placing the offense in the red zone. Ryan also threw a pick with one minute left before halftime, which was enough time for Dallas to go on another touchdown run.

That four possession in the first half after their first touchdown was the moment for Indy to plan their flag in the ground and put Dallas on alert, but they only managed to produce three points over that stretch. With the stark difference in talent between these two teams, the Colts had to play perfectly and take advantage of those opportunities when they are up for grabs.

Of course, the collapse of the second half with four consecutive turnovers will put every team in a coffin. That continued a rough trend for Indianapolis in the fourth quarter as well. In Week 13, the Colts had a -19-point difference in the fourth quarter of the last two games. Being outscored 33-0 in the last quarter isn’t really going to help those numbers.

Turning point

While the offense will draw most of the attention in the second half, Dallas began to pull back just before the half. The defense held the Colts to a field goal, despite the offense giving them the football in the red zone after a Dak Prescott interception. On the next defensive possession, Malik Hooker struck out Matt Ryan and caused a touchdown drive through the offense that gave the Cowboys an eight lead going into the break. That kept the Colts at bay and were able to hold the lead even as Indy scored on a 90-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter.

Of course things got out of hand after that. Dallas extended the lead after the offense drove 75 yards down the field to go up by nine and the defense then posted four consecutive turnovers to win the game, including a 38-yard scoop-and-score by Hooker.

Game of the game

CeeDee Lamb’s 20-yard touchdown catch-and-run from Dak Prescott was one of the more impressive individual efforts in this game. The Cowboys reeled in a crosser on third and nine and looked to be downed well before the first-down marker. When Rodney McLeod Jr. however, wrapped him up and Lamb never touched the ground, he instead fell on top of the Colts’ safety. Realizing he wasn’t down, Lamb started heads up to race to the end zone for the score and give Dallas the first lead of the night. Lamb finished with a team-high five catches for 71 yards and that score.

What’s next

From here, Dallas will hang out at AT&T Stadium and wait for the Houston Texans for a Week 14 showdown on Sunday. As for the Colts, they will see you in Week 14 before heading to the Vikings in Minnesota in Week 15 to begin the final leg of the 2022 regular season.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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