Cowboys End Colts’ Undefeated Season

The Dallas Cowboys, who came into the game 5-4, knocked off Peyton Manning and the 9-0 Indianapolis Colts 21-13, ending Indy’s hopes of a perfect season and giving the ‘Boys a decent shot at making the playoffs.

Dallas Cowboys 21 - Indianapolis Colts 14

They did it despite several turnovers and two missed field goals by former Colt Mike Vanderjagt, who is statistically the most accurate kicker in NFL history but who has been sketchy at best this year.

ESPN‘s quick summary:

Tony Romo managed an efficient game in his first career start at home, Marion Barber III ran for two fourth-quarter touchdowns and the Cowboys handed Peyton Manning and the Colts their first loss of the season 21-14 Sunday.

A week after becoming the first team to start 9-0 in consecutive seasons, Indianapolis fell shy in its bid to match last year’s 13-0 run, much less the perfect season by the 1972 Miami Dolphins. The Colts had escaped close calls all season — like two one-point wins over bad teams at home and five other wins by less than a touchdown — but couldn’t overcome four turnovers, their most in a regular season game since Nov. 25, 2001.

For the Cowboys, this easily goes down as their most impressive win in coach Bill Parcells’ four seasons. Dallas (6-4) is two games over .500 for the first time all season. With four of the remaining six games at home and with the rest of the division ailing, the Cowboys are in prime position to make a run at the division title. It’s a stunning turnaround considering how badly they looked in their last home game, a lopsided loss to the New York Giants. But a halftime quarterback change that game, from Drew Bledsoe to Romo, has transformed the club. The Cowboys have won two in a row and three of four.

The underachieving Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to Dallas Thanksgiving day, giving the Cowboys a reasonable chance to go 7-4.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. joy says:

    And, despite all that, Romo only earned 9 points in Fantasy play.

  2. Anderson says:

    Mirabile dictu, the Dolphins won again (barely).

  3. James Joyner says:

    Romo had minus 0.33 in one of my leagues, which only gives a point for every 50 passing yards and subtracts two for every INT and fumble.

  4. Boyd says:

    While I long for a season such as we had in the 70s or 90s, it’s good to see our team resuscitating themselves. Still, it’s waaaay too early for a non-sports-pundit like myself to begin to hope for even a single game in the postseason.

    As an example of why I’m so tentative, I refer you to the Cowboys’ recent game in Landover, MD. That it was even close just illustrates how easy it is to fail. Plus, I hate having to listen to all the Redskins fans gloat over splitting games this season.

  5. Bandit says:

    The problem is that when the ‘Boys win Parcells doesn’t lose. That anyone would hire that fat POS after he signed the deal with the NYJ the week before the Superbowl in which his team was playing is beyond me.