The Dallas Cowboys aren’t a team that starts fast. While finishing games strong is more important, Micah Parsons and company run the risk of allowing inferior teams to stick in games longer than they should. It happened against the Giants on Thanksgiving, and again vs the Colts on Sunday Night Football.
Dak Prescott by all accounts had a bad game, but a combination CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliot, Tony Pollard and red-zone Michael Gallup were more than enough to overwhelm a Colts defense that held up its end of the bargain for three quarters.
By the end of the third, the Cowboys’ lead shrunk to two points after an Alec Pierce touchdown. From that point on, though, Dallas shifted into high gear and blew the doors off Jeff Saturday’s mistake-prone squad.
When the dust settled, the Cowboys won 54-19 after outscoring Indianapolis 33-0 in the final 15 minutes. The Colts turned the ball over on four straight possessions in the quarter, culminating in a scoop-and-score touchdown for former Colts first-round pick Malik Hooker and two interceptions by rookie DaRon Bland.
To say Matt Ryan and the Colts were playing scared would be an understatement, and Parsons made sure to let Indy know about it with a savage tweet after the blowout win.
Micah Parsons poked fun at the Colts after the Cowboys’ record-setting fourth quarter.
Textbook trolling from Parsons, who was actually held in check considering the ridiculously high bar he’s set for himself. For the game, Parsons logged two tackles, one quarterback hit, four pressures and three hurries, per PFF.
The great part about the win, though, is Dallas didn’t need Parsons to be superman. Between Hooker’s two forced turnovers and defensive score, Bland’s two picks, and sacks from Osa Odighizuwa, Donovan Wilson, and Anthony Barr, the Cowboys got contributions all over their defense. Rookie Sam Williams even had a scoop-and-score touchdown in the fourth quarter that was called back.
The Cowboys’ defense is as good as any in the NFL. When they’re leading in the second half, though, they morph into the ’85 Bears.
In Week 12, they blanked the Giants in the second half before Richie James scored a meaningless touchdown in the final seconds. In Week 11, they didn’t given an inch against the Vikings and sacked Kirk Cousins seven times.
And to think we’ve barley applauded the offense’s performance. While the defense spearheaded the lopsided fourth quarter, Dallas notched four offensive scores in the frame; one apiece from Gallup, Pollard, Elliott and rookie Malik Davis.
The end result? The third time in NFL history a team has scored at least 33 points in the fourth quarter.
Yes, the Cowboys entered as big favorites, but did anyone expect the Colts to lie down and accept being slaughtered? Certainly not Jeff Saturday’s resilient Colts, and Parsons made sure to give NFL Twitter something to think about.