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Cowboys vs Colts preview: Fast facts about the Week 13 game

A quick look at some stats and facts about the Cowboys and Colts upcoming game.

Syndication: Indianapolis Jenna Watson/IndyStar

When the Dallas Cowboys welcome the Indianapolis Colts to AT&T Stadium, it will only be the 18th game between the two franchises. Over the lifetime of the series, the Cowboys lead the regular-season games 10-6. But the Colts hold the edge in the playoffs, and what an edge as they beat the Cowboys 16-13 in Super Bowl V.

The last time these two teams met was in December of 2018 when the Colts had their way with Dallas in Indianapolis, 23-0. The last time they played in Texas, the Cowboys were 42-7 winners in 2014. Dallas has won three out of the last four games. In this matchup, the Cowboys are the clear favorites as DraftKings Sportsbook has them as 11-point favorites.

The Colts are catching the Cowboys at a bad time as their offense has heated up since the return of quarterback Dak Prescott. Since his return, Dallas leads the league in points per game at 33.8, they are also second in yards per game at 416.2 and are tops in third-down offense (57%).

Those are some outstanding numbers, but Prescott hasn’t had a lot of personal success against the Colts. He’s never thrown a touchdown pass against them, one of only three teams he’s never had one against, the others being the Chargers and the Jets. In Prescott’s one game against the Colts, he was 24 of 39 for 206 yards, and one interception.

The Colts quarterback, Matt Ryan, is suffering through a tough year as he has been sacked 32 times in 10 games played. The Colts have given up 43 sacks this season, the most in the NFL. So now they just happen to have the bad fortune of playing the Cowboys who lead the NFL with 45 sacks. Those 45 sacks are the second-most by a team in the last 20 years through 11 games, only trailing the 2014 Bills who had 46.

On the flip side, the Cowboys have allowed only 14 sacks all year, the fewest in the NFL. They haven’t given up a sack in back-to-back games, and if they do that again this week, it will be the first time that has happened since 1994 for the Cowboys.

The Cowboys are seventh in the league with a scoring average of 25.4 points per game, while the Colts are tied for 30th at 15.8 ppg. The Cowboys are second in points allowed at 17 ppg, while the Colts are 11th with 20.3 ppg allowed.

One huge area of concern for the Colts has to be turnovers. Dallas is +5 in turnover margin which is fourth in the league while the Colts are -10 which is 31st in the league. The Colts defense does a great job of limiting the points scored by the opposition, but they rarely give their offense a short field to work with which only exacerbates the offense’s shortcomings.

This game is sort of a homecoming for Cowboys safety Malik Hooker. He won’t be going back to Indianapolis, but he will be playing his former team. Hooker was drafted by the Colts and spent four season playing for them. Another Cowboys defender, Dante Fowler, has played three games against the Colts while with Jacksonville, and had two sacks and six quarterback pressures in those games. With the Colts poor pass blocking, he probably will extend that good play against them this week.

Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch has one game versus the Colts and had 12 tackles in that game. That’s good news because the one big offensive weapon the Colts have is running back Jonathan Taylor. Vander Esch, Damone Clark and possibly Anthony Barr will need to contain Taylor or the Colts will stand a chance on offense.

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