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Your NFC East Division Champions, The Dallas Cowboys!

The Washington victory over Philadelphia set it up. The Cowboys finished it in convincing fashion.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It is called "Making a Statement". With the Washington defeat of the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, the Dallas Cowboys just had to win the game against the Indianapolis Colts to clinch the division title, ensuring the first trip to the playoffs since 2009. Could they really put the "December slump" meme behind them?

Oh, hell, yeah! They did the same thing to that tired old line that they did to the hapless Colts: They smashed it in the mouth, threw it to the turf, and stomped it flat. Watching this game, it is hard to believe that these were two 10-4 teams coming in. Only the one with the Star on their helmet looked like it as they took down Indianapolis by a final score of  42-7. It was a good thing that the Colts had locked up their division last week, because they looked nothing like a playoff contender in this game.

In a real sense, the game may have been over when the Colts attempted a fake punt on their first possession. They had just watched the Cowboys burn 8:24 in marching the opening kickoff and getting a nine yard Tony Romo to Terrence Williams touchdown. Unable to get anywhere after Tyrone Crawford stuffed their first run of the game for a five yard loss, they called a fake punt from their own 19. They had the play, but wide open Dewey McDonald, a defensive back, dropped the ball. Dallas scored on the next play, a beautiful Romo pass to Dez Bryant, and the Colts were down 14-0 at the 4:23 mark of the first quarter.

It certainly looked like something went out of Indianapolis at that point. They did not get their first 1st down until there were 5:44 left in the half. There would be moments they would get some good plays, but it was evident that the Cowboys wanted it much more than the Colts.

Consider some of the halftime stats: 28-0 lead. 17 first downs to four (three on the final drive) advantage for Cowboys. 232 total yards to 104 (again most of the Colts' yards came on the futile final drive of the half). Time of possession 20:04 to 9:56. One takeaway for Dallas.

You just don't see a more dominant performance than that.

There would be a bit of a hitch in the second half. After Anthony Hitchens, who was very good in the game, intercepted a tipped ball, Indianapolis stiffened and stopped Dallas, and Dan Bailey had a rare miss on the ensuing field goal. But the Colts could go nowhere, and Dallas would add another touchdown in the third quarter. Oh, and that would be the pass on which Romo broke Troy Aikman's all time passing yardage record for the Cowboys. On a completion to Jason Witten. Could it have been more perfect?

By the fourth quarter, Andrew Luck was out of the game for Indy, Murray was out for Dallas. There would be some sloppiness, such as Romo's second incompletion of the game (in the fourth quarter, folks) which should have been a pick six. And Joseph Randle lost a fumble in the red zone in relief of Murray. But it was all just garbage time stuff. After that possession, Dallas did something you almost never see: They pulled Romo for Brandon Weeden. Who promptly completed his first pass of the day to Terrance Williams for a 43 yard touchdown.

It was that kind of day for the two teams. Almost unadulterated excellence for the Cowboys, and nothing going right for the Colts. By the end of the game, it looked more like a preseason game as both teams pulled starters off the field to keep them healthy. And it was in that garbage time that the Colts finally got some points on the board, when they meant absolutely, positively nothing.

The clear advantage that Dallas had in this game was the thing that has carried them for so much of the season: Ball control offense based on the ground game. Indianapolis wanted to establish their running game, since they are almost certain to need it in the playoffs. But by the end of the game, Dallas had over 127 yards rushing (many of them very tough, but still effective) while Indianapolis had one yard on the ground. O-n-e.

It would be easy to assume that this game meant nothing for Indy, but the harsh reality that they could not do anything offensively may haunt them in the postseason.

Meanwhile, Dallas saw the formula it has used all season work to near perfection. The running game drew defenders up to stop it, and Romo efficiently worked over the top. He only threw 20 passes for 218 yards, but he completed 18 of them, including four touchdowns. His 151.7 passer rating shows just how efficient he was.

This was an incredible performance by the Cowboys. It served notice that this is a team to be taken seriously.

Fear the Star.

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