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    #INDvsDAL: How The Game May Be Decided In The Red Zone

    In many ways the has found their stride in recent weeks. Over this five game win streak they have “found their identity” playing ball control offense and trusting their to make big throws when needed most. Of course the has been most weeks, but this offense should not be slept on either.

    This doesn't mean the offense has been without their fair share of struggles, however, particularly in the red zone. Struggles that the numbers say could cost the Cowboys this weeks' game in Indianapolis if they don't get it cleaned up.

    In terms of red zone offensive efficiency the Cowboys have been downright horrendous. In fact, they are dead-last in the league in inside the 10 yard line, last in first-and-goal success rate, and 21st in success rate between the 11 and 20 yard lines.

    There's no sugar-coating those numbers, they are bad. Especially when you consider that this team has arguably the league's best and a quarterback with the size and athleticism you might expect from a .

    For as bad as the Cowboys are inside the red zone, the Colts are equally as good. Indianapolis is top 10 in terms of success rate inside the 10, at the goal line, and in first-and-goal success rate. They are also 11th in success rate between the 11 and 20 yard lines.

    Despite not having the individual running back the Cowboys have, the Colts and skill players as a whole set them up a bit better when the field is shortened. has been rather incredible in terms of production this season, catching 12 touchdowns on 58 receptions. Andrew Luck is also a more accurate quarterback than Dak Prescott, though Prescott should be a much more dangerous red zone threat than he currently is.

    Of course, some of the Cowboys red zone struggles can be pinned on . Linehan has failed to scheme open the “easy” red zone touchdowns we see so often around the league. As pointed out by Bob Sturm on this week, the Cowboys' personnel groupings and play calls when in goal-to-go situations have been questionable to say the least. But while blame does fall on the coaches' shoulders, the players need to execute better as well.

    Games in the NFL often come down to just a handful of plays, and red zone efficiency plays a key role in deciding the outcome of close games every week. If this is once again the case on Sunday, based on past performance, the Dallas Cowboys could be in trouble against the efficient Colts.

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    Kevin Brady
    Kevin Bradyhttps://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com
    Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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    2 COMMENTS

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    John Williams

    If they can get marginally better over the last three games that will go a long way to helping them make a deep run in the playoffs. As it stands now, their best offense comes from big plays, but you can’t rely on that.

    Randy Albright

    Unless we do something different, there will be no deep run into the playoffs, face it, we can’t score in the red zone, Linehan needs to go.