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National Football League
Preview
Indianapolis at Dallas
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, December 21, 2014
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

It appears Dallas running back DeMarco Murray will be suited up Sunday when the Cowboys look to protect their NFC East lead against the Indianapolis Colts. Murray underwent surgery on his left hand earlier this week and the NFL’s leading rusher (1,687 yards) seems intent on playing against the Colts. “He’s had a great season,” Dallas quarterback Tony Romo told reporters. “I think he’s going to do everything he can to play. We’re just going to do what we do and go from there.”

Indianapolis has notched four straight victories and has clinched the AFC South but isn’t about to dial down the intensity when it visits the high-octane Cowboys. “It’s going to be a heck of a challenge to see exactly where we’re at,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano told reporters. “We’ve played good defense the last couple weeks.” Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck has enjoyed an outstanding season and Romo has fought through a midseason back injury to have a solid campaign, leaving visions of a stellar quarterback battle. Dallas has struggled at home with just a 3-4 record compared to a 7-0 road mark.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Cowboys -3. O/U: 55.

ABOUT THE COLTS (10-4): Luck leads the NFL in passing yardage (4,492) and touchdown passes (38) as he continues to make his mark as one of the game’s top quarterbacks. Whether he’ll have top target T.Y. Hilton (82 receptions for 1,345 yards) is unknown after the speedy wideout missed practices on Wednesday and Thursday due to a hamstring injury. Standout cornerback Vontae Davis has four interceptions and will be called on to help Indianapolis slow down red-hot Dallas receiver Dez Bryant. “Every game that he’s been playing, he’s consistent across the board,” defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said of Davis to reporters. “For the most part, he’s been consistently doing his job week-in and week-out against some top players around the league.”

ABOUT THE COWBOYS (10-4): Joseph Randle is being prepared to start but Murray insisted following Thursday’s practice that he’s on track to play. “I’m a very competitive person and I want to help this team out as much I can, so whatever that portrays me doing Sunday, then we’ll see,” Murray told reporters. Romo has passed for 3,188 yards and 28 scores while Bryant had three touchdowns last week to raise his NFL-best total to 13 to go with 79 receptions for 1,148 yards. Strong-side linebacker Bruce Carter has a team-best three interceptions, and defensive end Jeremy Mincey and defensive tackle Henry Melton share the team with five sacks.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Randle (237 yards) is averaging seven yards per carry.

2. Indianapolis ILB D’Qwell Jackson has an AFC-best 120 tackles.

3. Dallas TE Jason Witten has 53 receptions and has caught 50 or more passes in 11 straight seasons.

PREDICTION: Cowboys 37, Colts 33
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Indianapolis 10-4 W4 30.3 22.6 6-2 4-2 3-2 7-2 0-0 5-0 8-3
Dallas 10-4 W2 27.2 23.4 3-4 6-0 4-0 6-4 1-1 3-2 7-4
Last Meeting
Indianapolis Dallas
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
12/5/10 DAL 38 IND 35 405 40 365 368 217 151
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Indianapolis P. Manning 75.0 365 2 4
Dallas J. Kitna 69.2 167 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Indianapolis J. James 6 18 3.0 2
Dallas T. Choice 19 100 5.3 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Indianapolis R. Wayne 14 200 14.3 1
Dallas M. Austin 4 47 11.8 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Indianapolis J. James 2
Dallas T. Choice 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Indianapolis A. Luck 61.4 4492 38 14
Dallas T. Romo 69.3 3188 28 8
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Indianapolis T. Richardson 151 507 3.4 3
Dallas D. Murray 351 1687 4.8 11
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Indianapolis T. Hilton 82 1345 16.4 7
Dallas D. Bryant 79 1148 14.5 13
Touchdowns Player TD
Indianapolis D. Allen 8
Dallas D. Bryant 13