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Cowboys @ Colts: Jason Garrett's Next Test Is A Wounded But Hungry Colts Team

The last time the Dallas Cowboys faced the Indianapolis Colts (2006), Tony Romo was starting just his fourth game after replacing Drew Bledsoe during a loss to the New York Giants. Romo had led the Cowboys to wins over the Carolina Panthers and the Arizona Cardinals. Sandwiched in between was a very close loss to the Washington Redskins. Dallas was 5-4, the Colts were 9-0. Indianapolis came to Dallas with a perfect record, but departed with a loss. After losing to Dallas, the Colts lost three of their next five games, then went on a streak of winning that culminated in a Super Bowl championship.

Dallas enters this game with renewed confidence, even after losing to current reigning champs New Orleans on Thanksgiving Day. Under Jason Garrett, Dallas is 2-1. Last week's game was a good test, and in a lot of areas, they passed the test. They didn't break when they found themselves in an early 17-0 hole. After a mistake-filled first half, they made halftime adjustments and roared all the way back into a lead, only to be undone by a great defensive play. Even then, they managed to give it one last desperation chance. Jason Garrett is getting the most out of these players, and that's the big difference. Guys are now giving maximum effort, and they're also executing properly. In short, the Cowboys are competitive again.

The Colts are a team that needs to win this game in the worst way. They've lost three of their last four games. At 6-5, they're tied with Jacksonville in the AFC South. The wildcards will likely come from the East and North, so they need to win their division. Peyton Manning is struggling because his offensive line is cracking, he has no running game for support, and  he's dealing with major injuries. This is not the same Colts team we're used to, even their own fanbase would agree.

Injuries have decimated the Colts skill positions (among others). Dallas Clark is gone, although Jacob Tamme has been a great replacement. Joseph Addai and Mike Hart have been missing from the backfield. Austin Collie has been in and out of the lineup. The list goes on and on for the Colts. They've been missing Bob Sanders since forever.

This week, they hope to get Mike Hart and Gary Brackett back. They won't be getting Bob Sanders back, he's out again for this week. The news on Austin Collie and Joseph Addai:

-Wide receiver Austin Collie is improving and his practice role will be determined as the week progresses. Collie suffered a concussion at Philadelphia on November 7. After being cleared medically to participate at New England on November 21, he encountered symptoms from his previous injury, though there was no recurrence.

-Running back Joseph Addai progressed to practice last week for conditioning purposes. Addai will do so again, but a timetable for a full return to action is uncertain.

Notes on the game below...










3 of past 4


Garrett: 0-0

Caldwell: 0-0


L 30-27 vs. Saints

L 36-14 vs. Chargers


11/19/06: Colts 14 at Cowboys 21.  Dallas RB Marion Barber scores 2 4th-quarter rush TDs as Colts suffer 1st defeat of 2006 after 9-0 start.  Cowboys QB Tony Romo passes for 226 yards.


11/17/02: Colts 20, Cowboys 3.  Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning throws for 252 yards & 2 TDs.  Colts’ defense limits Dallas to 178 total yards.


FOX (4:15 PM ET): Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver (Field reporter).  SIRIUS: 121 (Dal.), 123 (Ind.).  XM: 105 (Ind.).



Kitna: 130-200-1,536-10-8-88.3

Manning: 317-486-3,344 (3L)-22 (T3C)-11-90.8


Jones: 111-448-4.0-0

Addai: 93-406-4.4-3


Witten (TE): 60-660-11.0-3

Wayne: 76 (1C)-907 (3C)-11.9-4



380.4 (2C)








Ware: 9.5 (2C)

Mathis: 7.5


Newman, Sensabaugh: 2

3 tied: 2


McBriar: 48.2 (1C)

McAfee: 42.8


Buehler: 68 (29/30 PAT; 13/18 FG)

Vinatieri: 84 (33/33 PAT; 17/19 FG)


COWBOYS:  QB JON KITNA has completed 61 of 88 (69.3 pct.) for 787 yards with 6 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 110.4 rating in past 3…Incl. playoffs, RB FELIX JONES has 9 career TDs (7 rush, 1 rec., 1 KR) & averages 49.8 yards per TD (448 yards).  RB MARION BARBER rushed for 2 TDs in last meeting.  Had TD last week.  RB TASHARD CHOICE had rush TD in Week 12…In past 6 vs. AFC., WR MILES AUSTIN has 41 catches for 769 yards (128.2 per game) & 5 TDs.  Had career-long 60-yard TD run last week, 2nd longest by Dal. WR.  TE JASON WITTEN had 10 catches for 99 yards last week, 5th career game with 10+ receptions.  Leads NFL TEs with 60 catches.  WR-PR DEZ BRYANT has 44 catches & needs 3 to pass HOFer BOB HAYES (46) for most by Cowboys rookie.  Has 8 TDs (6 rec. 2 PR), most among NFL rookies.  WR ROY WILLIAMS has 3 rec. TDs in past 3 vs. AFC…LB DE MARCUS WARE had sack & FF in only meeting.  Has 12 sacks in past 11 vs. AFC, incl. 5 in past 3.  Has 66 sacks since 2006, most in NFL.  DT JAY RATLIFF had sack in last meeting.

COLTS:  Aim for 3rd consecutive win vs. Cowboys at home…Colts have 6-1 regular-season record against NFC under head coach JIM CALDWELL…In 2 career games vs. Cowboys at home, QB PEYTON MANNING is 2-0 & has completed 51 of 72 passes (70.8 pct.) for 565 yards w/ 3 TDs vs. 1 INT & 101.9 passer rating.  Manning (22) needs 3 TD passes to become 1st player in NFL history to have 13 straight seasons w/ 25 TD passes & is only player to have 12 consecutive seasons w/ 25+ TD passes.  Has 61 career 300-yard passing games, 3rd-most in NFL history (DAN MARINO, 63; BRETT FAVRE, 62).…RB JOSEPH ADDAI has 12 rush TDs in 15 career games vs. NFC…WR REGGIE WAYNE (907) needs 93 rec. yards to reach 1,000 for 7th consecutive season.  Rookie WR BLAIR WHITE has 3 TD rec. in past 2…Since Nov., TE JACOB TAMME leads NFL in rec. (38) & ranks 1st among TEs in rec. yards (369).  Aims for 5th consecutive game w/ 7+ rec…DE DWIGHT FREENEY has 3 sacks in 2 career games vs. Dal.

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