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Instant Review: Staff Writers Give Quick Analysis After Cowboys' Win Over Colts

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys took advantage of a few early mistakes by the Colts and never looked back, dominating Indianapolis to claim their first NFC East title since 2009.

Check out the instant reactions from the staff of

David Helman: The Cowboys' offense played out its part of this game exactly like I thought they would – they pounded away on the ground, and saw a practically perfect day from Tony Romo through the air. What I didn't see coming was the defensive dominance against one of the league's best quarterbacks. Andrew Luck sat down in the third quarter, trailing 35-0, with a 41.7 quarterback rating. The Cowboys limited him to 109 yards and picked him off twice. Sure, he might not have had T.Y. Hilton, but that's hardly an excuse for the type of beating we saw on display Sunday afternoon. With a playoff berth up for grabs, the Cowboys didn't just come out and handle business – they made an emphatic statement by destroying a playoff-caliber team on both sides of the ball. For the first time in years, there won't be any drama in Week 17, because the Cowboys staked their claim a week early. That ability to answer the bell has been something we've seen from this team all year, and it's why the Cowboys are playoff-bound for the first time in half a decade.

Bryan Broaddus: I thought it was a pretty simple game plan for the Cowboys against the Colts - control their receivers and tight ends without TY Hilton and make the others beat you. The Cowboys secondary was outstanding in all phases. The Colts were never able to generate any type of consistency down the field in their routes to gain any separation. Luck was forced to fit the ball into tight windows which was an area where he had struggled at all season. When the coverage is this good it is always going to help the pass rush and in this case they were able to take advantage of the Colts and their offensive line.

Nick Eatman: Regardless what the Eagles did on Saturday, I thought the Cowboys would respond well and they definitely did. With the chance to go win the division, this team seized the moment in a way we haven't seen since they last won it in 2009. What a change we've seen out of this Jason Garrett-coached team. With the prize in front of them, their best players rose to the occasion, led by Romo of course. He was amazing and if he doesn't get into the MVP conversation, something is wrong. I thought the crowd would be good and it was for sure. Cole Beasley had a nice game and a big TD pass, but overall I thought the Cowboys would need a strong fourth-quarter stand to hold off Luck. I never saw this blowout coming, but didn't exactly see this 11-4 record as well.

For the initial gut feeling predictions of the staff writers posted on Saturday, click here


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