Cowboys vs. Colts final score: 3 things we learned from Dallas’ blowout
The Cowboys blew the doors off the Colts in what was a telling game ahead of the postseason.
To understand how lopsided this game was, you need not look further that the quarterbacks. Tony Romo was near perfect, going 18-for-20 for 218 yards and four touchdowns before being replaced by Brandon Weeden in the fourth quarter. Andrew Luck, meanwhile, had arguably the worst game of his career. His 41.7 passer rating was the lowest of his tenure, complementing his two picks.
With the win, the Cowboys keep themselves in position for a first round bye in the playoffs. They will need some help, starting with a Seattle Seahawks win over the Arizona Cardinals tonight. Even if they don’t get a week of rest, however, they will still be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs.
Three things we learned:
1) The Colts should worry
Indianapolis has dearth of quality wins this season. Wins over the 9-4-1 Cincinnati Bengals and 9-6 Baltimore Ravens are the best by record, and at the moment only the Bengals look likely to make the playoffs. The Colts have lost to practically every other team with a pulse — by seven points to the Denver Broncos, three points to the Philadelphia Eagles, 17 points to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 22 points to the New England Patriots and now 35 points to the Cowboys.
The Colts gave up at least 30 points in each of those five losses, with a high of 51 to the Steelers. This is a team with a suspect defense and a moribund running game. Andrew Luck is capable of greatness against anyone, but he looked terrible Sunday with T.Y. Hilton out of the lineup. With the playoffs just two weeks away, fans have reason to be concerned about how the Colts will fair.
2) The Cowboys will hopefully get to rest DeMarco Murray
Murray desperately needs a breather. He has been a workhorse this season, and that’s good, but one has to wonder whether the Cowboys are running him too hard at times. On Sunday, he had 22 carries for just 58 yards against what had been, until Sunday, a bad run defense, all while playing on a broken hand.
Julius Randle and Lance Dunbar may not have been more effective, but they weren’t much worse. Yes, Murray is attacking the Cowboys’ record book, but the Cowboys’ would probably be much happier, long term, to have Murray fresh for what could be a promising postseason run. Speaking of which …
3) The Cowboys should expect a Super Bowl
As demoralizing as the game was for the Colts, it was encouraging for the Cowboys. Dallas hasn’t been a perfect team this season, but no “top” in the NFL has looked unbeatable. The Cowboys have looked like they could be the best team in the league at times, and they should view the upcoming postseason as a great opportunity to hoist the Lombardi Trophy once more.
That isn’t to say it will happen. It’ll have to run through a surging Seahawks team and one or both of the Lions and Packers. The Cowboys may be the most complete team in the NFC, however, with a multiply dangerous offense and an opportunistic defense (24 takeaways this season).