What We’ve Seen from Colts/Possible Defensive Gameplan Against Dallas
Opponents’ Points Per Game: 20.3
Opponents’ Passing Yards Per Game: 190.6
Opponents’ Rushing Yards Per Game: 118.3
Opponents’ Total Yards Per Game: 308.9
Opponents’ Third Down Conversion Percentage: 35.7%
Opponents’ Red Zone Conversion Percentage: 59.4%
Colts Defensive Strategy
The Colts field one of the better defenses in the league, but over the last few games they haven’t been able to stop the run, giving up 416 yards and four rushing touchdowns over a span of three games. With the Cowboys having two very good running backs in Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard ready to go, the Colts have the potential to see both of those numbers increase. The other issue for the Colts will be the injury to starting cornerback Kenny Moor,e who went down with a shin issue on Monday.
Dak Prescott will be primed to attack whoever is on that side of the field instead of taking risks against the veteran Stephon Gilmore. This leaves the Colts with only one option in this game: win the line of scrimmage, stop the run and put pressure on Prescott. If they can’t, it’s going to be a long day for a defense that has kept this team in games, with Indy’s offense scoring on just 29.6% of their drives this season. Compare that to a Cowboys offensive attack which has scored on 40.5% of their offensive possessions, and it’s clear Indy’s playing a lesser game.
Cowboys Offensive Strategy
In order to keep that 40.5% number up, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is going to need to continue balancing his passing and rushing plays, something he has done well since Prescott’s return. Over the last three games, Moore has been able to keep this Cowboys offense fairly balanced, rushing the football 92 times and passing 111 times. That balanced play calling will need to continue if they want to win this game and make noise in the playoffs.
Now, for his part, Prescott needs to continue to be smart with the football and take what the defense gives him without forcing the issue. He’s thrown four interceptions over the last three games, much of that being due to miscommunications between himself and his receivers. They should be able to fix the communication issues, but overall, in order for the Cowboys to win, they need Moore to continue deploying his balanced play calling and Prescott to protect the football.
Do that, and the Cowboys will easily win this game. If not, they will have to work and come from behind, much like the Eagles did when they faced the Colts two weeks ago.