The Dallas Cowboys (10-4) went into Philadelphia last weekend and manhandled the potent Eagles’ offense. The Eagles kept DeMarco Murray in check most of the game. Murray rushed for only 81 yards on 31 carries. Few teams have kept Murray bellow 100 yards on the ground. Tony Romo, however, carried the offense by throwing 3 touchdown passes to Dez Bryant. The three touchdowns were a career high for Bryant in a single game.
The Indianapolis Colts (10-4) took care of business against the Houston Texans at home. The Colts’ offense struggled against a stingy Houston pass-rush. Andrew Luck threw two touchdowns and one interception. The Colts’ run game has struggled all season. Daniel Herron might be the answer to the Colts ground woes. Herron, against the Texans, rushed for 60 yards on 11 carries.
Colts Vs Cowboys Week 16 Odds
Colts +3.5 (+115)
Cowboys -3.5 (-105)
Cowboys: By beating the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, the Cowboys are now the odds on favorite to win the NFC East. Dallas has to win out and they control their own destiny. The ground game has carried them all season and they will need to continue to hand the ball off to DeMarco Murray this week against the Colts. Even though Murray did not rush for over a 100 yards, Dallas’ commitment to the run aided Tony Romo and the passing game. Dez Bryant is a special wide-receiver, but until last week he had not taken over a game all season. Tony Romo needs to hand the ball off, which will force the Colts to play the run. Dallas will be able to move the ball on the ground against a weak run defense. The biggest factor in the game will be Romo. He will have to manage the offensive pace of the game and that starts with the offensive-line. The offensive-line of Dallas has made a case for being the best in the league.
Colts: Houston is a quality team and would be a playoff contender if they had a solid quarterback. Andrew Luck did not have his best game against the Texans but will need to play a lot better against a Dallas squad that is peaking right before the playoffs. The Colts need to keep Dallas off the field and disrupt their slower offensive pace. Andrew Luck needs to move the ball down field quickly in the first few quarters and build a lead. The Cowboys cannot be allowed to slowly kill the clock all game long with runs that set up short third down throws. The Colts will have to force the Cowboys to abandon the run. Indianapolis will need to outplay Dallas physically at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The success of the Colts starts and ends with Andrew Luck. He leads the league with 38 touchdown passes on the season. He will need to carry the Colts’ offense with his arms as well as his legs.
The win over Philadelphia has the Cowboys riding an emotional high. That game was on the road where the Cowboys are 7-0. This week’s match-up is at home where the Cowboys have gone 3-4 and seemingly struggle to play competitively. With the pressure to stay ahead of the Eagles in the NFC East, the Cowboys cannot afford to lose at home. Although the Cowboys need the win more than the Colts, the pressure to win at home will certainly be difficult for Dallas to overcome. The Colts put up a lot of points inside their dome and will certainly benefit from playing inside AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys will keep it close but the Colts offense will be too hot to handle. Expect the Colts to pull off the upset.
Indianapolis Colts 27 Dallas Cowboys 20