Dallas came out swinging, taking the opening possession of the game 80 yards over nine plays, punching it in with a 20-yard touchdown run by Tashard Choice, his longest run of the season. Choice led Dallas in rushing with 19 carries and 100 yards--and, in doing so, made a good case for his being a greater part of the offense moving forward. We’ll explore that in greater detail later.
Peyton Manning’s uncharacteristic slump continued with four interceptions on Sunday; the first, by Alan Ball on the Colts’ first possession, gave way to a Dallas field goal, a 30-yarder by David Buehler; the second was returned 40 yards by Orlando Scandrick to extend the Dallas lead to 17.
The Colts showed some life in the second quarter with a drive of 86 yards, which ended with a 13 yard touchdown pass from Manning to Pierre Garcon, which brought the score to 17-7, Dallas.
It took the Colts less than a minute into the second half to find the end zone, this time on a 34 yard touchdown pass from Manning to Reggie Wayne to begin a wild half of football. Buehler nailed a 46 yard field goal with around five minutes left in the quarter and rookie linebacker Sean Lee intercepted Manning for the third time on the day less than a minute later, and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown.
The Colts began the fourth quarter with 14 unanswered points, on a one-yard Javarris James touchdown run, and a two-yard return of a blocked punt by Taj Smith, to give Indianapolis their first lead of the day.
Dallas then answered with 24 yard Buehler field goal, and a two yard pass from Jon Kitna to Jason Witten. Kitna hit Roy Williams for the two-point conversion but, once again, Indianapolis answered. Manning and co. needed ten plays to cover 80 yards, tying the game on James’ second touchdown of the day, to tie the game at 35-35. Dallas opted to run out the clock and go to overtime.
After Manning’s fourth interception of the day--and Sean Lee’s second--on Indianapolis’ second possession of the extra frame, Buehler hit on a 38 yard field goal to give Dallas the win.
All was not felicitous for Dallas on Sunday, however. Dez Bryant left the game with what is being described as an ankle fracture.
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