INSTANT REACTION: Colts squash Cowboys' streak

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs with the ball against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium.Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis claims 23-0 victory by making big defensive plays, running through Cowboys' D.

From the time that Colts defensive tackle Denico Autry blocked Brett Maher’s 48-yard field goal attempt just over five minutes into the contest, Indianapolis controlled things against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Colts running back Marlon Mack shredded the Dallas defense for 139 rushing yards and 2 TDs and his Indianapolis teammates followed him to a 23-0 victory.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck passed for a pedestrian 192 yards, but he wasn’t sacked and didn’t throw an interception.

The real story was the Indianapolis defense, which threw sand in the Cowboys’ offensive gears.

Dallas reverted to early season form when it struggled to score on the road and the anemic offense led to four-straight road defeats.

The Cowboys’ red zone problems showed up as well as they failed to come away with points on a trip inside the Indy 10 early in the second quarter. Fullback Jamize Olawale dropped a potential touchdown pass and Ezekiel Elliott was stuffed and fumbled on fourth-and-goal from the 3.

The Colts locked down wide receiver Amari Cooper, holding him to 4 catches for 32 yards.

Elliott rushed for 87 yards and caught 7 passes for 41 yards, but it wasn’t enough to spark the rest of the offense. It’s becoming more and more obvious that the Cowboys need to break big plays to score and if Elliott isn’t gaining chunk yardage in the 30-plus range on a regular basis, then the numbers don’t add up to a Dallas win.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott wasn't very good as he completed 24 of 39 passes for 206 yards with no TDs and an interception.

However, the Cowboys could still have the NFC East title in hand by the end of the day of the Eagles fall to the Rams.

If that happens, and Dallas can bounce back and defeat Tampa Bay next week, isn’t there still hope for the rest of this season?