These Cowboys and Colts don’t meet very often as this week’s matchup will be the 17th time they squared off against one another. The last time these two did play was in 2014 Dalton Schultz Color Rush Jersey
, the Cowboys clinched the NFC East with a 42-7 rout. The Cowboys have that same opportunity this week, that’s if they can get past Andrew Luck and his Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday afternoon.These two teams have carved out very similar paths in 2018. Both teams were 3-5 at the halfway point of this season and have made late pushes towards the postseason. Dallas is currently on a five-game winning streak and Indy has won four of their last five. This last week, the Colts upset the Texans and gave Houston their first loss in nine games. Just two weeks ago, the Cowboys had knocked off a Saints team that had won 10-straight. Overall, Dallas had a tougher schedule as their opponents combined for a .508 record compared to Indy’s opponents at .477.The 8-5 Cowboys are practically a lock for the playoffs and just need one more win to clinch the division. The Colts are in must-win mode as they battle the Ravens and Dolphins in the AFC Wildcard race. Though there are many similarities including how both teams are coached on defense, there are also a few stark differences. The Colts 15th ranked defense may not be as talented as the Cowboys’ second-ranked defense but former Cowboys assistant Matt Eberflus has Indy’s defense on the rise. Dallas and Indy both focus on keeping things in front of them and limiting the damage of big plays. In games like these, it’s the offense that can take advantage of scoring opportunities, hit an occasional big play, and sustain drives that will end up at the winner’s table.Over the course of the season, the red zone has been a troublesome area for the Cowboys. If anything is their “Achilles heel” on offense https://www.dallascowboysfanshop.com/Mi ... lup-Jersey
, it’s scoring touchdowns instead of field goals in the red zone: TotalsRZ TripsRZ ScoresRZ TDsRZ FGRZ Score%TD%FG%That’s troubling for the Cowboys because on the other side, this Colts offense is among the very best in the NFL:TotalsRZ TripsRZ ScoresRZ TDsRZ FGRZ Score%TD%FG%Over the last five games, many things have improved for the Cowboys but sadly red zone offense isn’t one of them. Weeks 10-14RZ TripsRZ ScoresRZ TDsRZ FGRZ Score%TD%FG%The Colts’ defense is a tough test for an already struggling red zone offense so Dallas must find a way to execute much better than they have been. Failing in the red zone could be a true backbreaker in the playoffs when the stakes are much higher.TotalsOpp. RZ TripsOpp. RZ ScoresOpp. RZ TDsOpp. RZ FGOpp. RZ Score%Opp. TD%Opp. FG%Since the win-streak began, Dallas has no problems moving the ball in-between the 20’s and they have a good overall scoring percentage. However, they are still settling for three points over six at a 50/50 rate. The Colts’ offense has the same amount of scores as Dallas has with 14 since week 10, but Indy has scored touchdowns on 81% of them.Weeks 10-14RZ TripsRZ ScoresRZ TDsRZ FGRZ Score%TD%FG%Indianapolis has been slightly less successful in overall red zone scoring percentage as they do have two turnovers on downs in the past five games. As good as the Colts have been at converting in the red zone, the Cowboys defense has been equally outstanding in the short field. Here are the defense’s red zone numbers in the last five games:TotalsOpp. RZ TripsOpp. RZ ScoresOpp. RZ TDsOpp. RZ FGOpp. RZ Score%Opp. TD%Opp. FG%On the road, if you can believe it, the Cowboys’ red zone defense is actually even better. Dallas only allows touchdowns on 36.84% of red zone opportunities, easily the best mark in the league. The Colts offense may be better than the Cowboys in red zone offense but Dallas has the advantage on defense.Let’s now shift over to explosive playmaking on offense and look at each team’s season totals in 20+ yard plays:Dallas CowboysTOTExplosive TDsExpl. PassExpl. RunAvg. Yds GainIndianapolis ColtsTOTExplosive TDsExpl. PassExpl. RunAvg. Yds GainAs far as the quantity https://www.dallascowboysfanshop.com
, Dallas and Indy are in the middle of the pack but they do a nice job at cashing in those big plays for touchdowns. In the last five weeks, the Colts have slightly more 20+ yard plays but Dallas is clearly becoming a more explosive scoring offense:DAL Weeks 10-14TOTExplosive TDsExpl. PassExpl. RunAvg. YDs GainIND Weeks 10-14TOTExplosive TDsExpl. PassExpl. RunAvg. YDs GainJust for good measure, here’s the defensive numbers for explosive plays allowed, no surprise, they’re both very good.Prevent DEF (Last 5 Gms)TOT All.Explosive TDExpl. PassExpl. RunAvg. Yds GainLastly, the one area that favors the Cowboys offense most is third-down percentage. They have absolutely owned the “Money Down” on both sides of the ball.Money Down Magic3D Att.3D Conv.3D%Opp. 3D Att.Opp. 3D Conv.Opp. 3D%The Colts don’t have the same luck as they struggle to convert on offense and are one of the worst at defending on third downs. Money Down Magic3D Att.3D Conv.3D %Opp. 3D Att.Opp. 3D Conv.Opp. 3D%The Cowboys and Colts have different offensive philosophies but both are methodical in nature. Indianapolis will use Andrew Luck’s arm in the “death by 1,000 cuts” style, taking whatever you give them in the passing game and making it count in the red zone. The Colts don’t sustain drives as well as the Cowboys. Indianapolis also loses the time of possession battle, allowing opponents to control the game for over 31 minutes. Dallas plays ball control better than anyone, currently averaging 36 minutes in TOP. That allows Dallas to wear opponents out and hit them with an explosive backbreaking play. These two teams are formidable opponents for one another. If the Cowboys have any edge at all Dallas Cowboys Customized Jerseys
, it’s by the slightest of margins.Jaylon Smith: We want to start off on defense every single game Cooler weather has started to hit Texas this fall, and maybe that’s because things are freezing over due to the Cowboys deferring the toss on Sunday against the Jaguars.Your eyes deceived you not, my friends. The Dallas Cowboys won the toss against Jacksonville and for the second time this season chose to defer to the second half. Who is this team, for crying out loud?It’s certainly worth noting that the Cowboys are undefeated in games that they defer this season (all two of ‘em), but what’s more important is noting that the team wants to be deferring. Jaylon Smith, he of godbacker fame and all things incredible, talked about the mentality that the Cowboys defense has and how putting them out there first is something that they crave.There are a lot of times where coaches should definitely listen to players and this is undoubtedly one of them. Dallas has a group, a tribe according to Jaylon, who is looking to get out there and define how the game is going to be played. How can you not steer into that?Hopefully Dallas abides by what the tribe wants in all games where they win the toss moving forward. It’s working well for them and has a 100% success rate!