The first half of the Colts-Cowboys matchup did not go as expected. What many predicted would be an easy win for the Cowboys was looking more like a nail biter at halftime. The Cowboys went into the locker room with a lead of 21 – 13.
Both the Cowboys and the Colts were forced to punt on their first possessions of the 2nd half. When the Colts got the ball back for the second time in the half, less than 4 minutes had passed in the 3rd quarter. They used 8 minutes of game time to complete a 15-play, 90-yard scoring drive. After a failed two-point conversion attempt by the Colts, the Cowboys held a 2-point lead: 21 – 19.
It was looking to be a much closer game than what many predicted, but that would actually be the last time the Colts offense saw the end zone.
The Cowboys offense was back on the field for the second time in the half with only 3:43 left in the third quarter. After 10 plays for 75 yards, Dallas responded with a touchdown of their own. An extra point by Brett Maher brought the score to Cowboys 28, Colts 19 just over a minute into the 4th quarter.
This is when the Cowboys woke up and started playing the game that many predicted. On the Colts' first play of the 4th quarter, a tackle by Damone Clark forced Indy's Alie-Cox to fumble. Malik Hooker quickly scooped up the live ball and ran it 38 yards into the end zone to put another touchdown on the board for the Cowboys. The Cowboys failed their two-point conversion attempt but were left with a comfortable 15-point lead at that point: Dallas 34, Indianapolis 19.
The Colts' next possession ended when Daron Bland intercepted a pass that Matt Ryan intended for Kylen Granson. Dallas took over on offense at their own 47. By the third play of that drive, they were at the Indianapolis 30 yard line. From their, Tony Pollard ran the ball into the end zone to increase the Cowboys lead: Cowboys 40, Colts 19.
The next Colts possession was like deja vu, ended by a Daron Bland interception. Dallas took over at their own 28 yard line. A 5-play, 72-yard drive brought them to the end zone once more. The crowd was literally chanting for Zeke to get the ball on the last play of that drive. The offense obliged, Zeke scored on a 4-yard run, then returned the love to Dallas fans by hopping into the Salvation Army kettle. Brett Maher's extra point brought the score to Cowboys 47, Colts 19.
The next possession by the Colts ended with a fumble that was recovered by Dallas defensive end Sam Williams. By that time, Dak Precott had put on his 4th quarter hat, so it was Cooper Rush behind center when the Cowboys took over at the Indianapolis 29 yard line. Running back Malik Davis ran the ball three times in a row and found his way to the end zone on the third try. One more extra point from Maher brought the game to what would be the final score: Cowboys 54, Colts 19.
The way the game changed in the 4th quarter was exciting to watch and will surely be talked about for a long time to come. According to the NFL Research team, the Dallas Cowboys are only the third team in NFL history to score 33 points or more in the 4th quarter of a game. It's also the first time in NFL history that a game has ended with a score of 54-19.