Rapid Reaction: Cowboys 38, Colts 35

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Rapid Reaction: Cowboys 38, Colts 35
By Calvin Watkins – ESPN Dallas

INDIANAPOLIS — David Buehler‘s 38-yard field goal with 8:01 to play in overtime gave the Cowboys a dramatic 38-35 win over the Colts on Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

What it means? The Cowboys appear hell bent to finish 8-8, and that’s a positive for the long-term goal of Jason Garrett to get the job for 2011. The Colts have seen their playoff hopes possibly go down with this loss.

Jones starts with Barber out: Marion Barber was home with a calf strain, and that gave Felix Jones an opportunity to get his third career start. Jones finished with 22 carries for 83 yards and no touchdowns. Tashard Choice also gained more snaps with the absence of Barber and finished with 100 rushing yards. The performance of both running backs could mean the ending of Barber’s role as the starter or possible on the game-day roster. Cowboys could make him inactive the rest of the season.

Cowboys getting turnovers: The Cowboys forced four turnovers on Sunday afternoon, all on interceptions. Alan Ball got the first pick when he took away a deep pass to Reggie Wayne. Two of the picks were returned for touchdowns. Orlando Scandrick picked off a pass and returned it 40 yards for a score in the second quarter and Sean Lee also snatched a pass away and returned it 31 yards in the third quarter. Lee had another interception in overtime, off a tip by Mike Jenkins, setting up the Cowboys’ winning drive. Jason Garrett has preached turnovers in his four games as the interim coach and the Cowboys have 12 since he took over as coach.

Injury update: Dez Bryant suffered a fractured right ankle on a kick return with 12:50 to play in the game and did not return. Orlando Scandrick suffered a concussion in the first half returned for one play and didn’t play in the second half. There were nagging injuries to Lee and Jenkins but both players returned after missing a few snaps. Gerald Sensabaugh was nicked up with 2:13 to play in the fourth quarter with an apparent leg injury but returned.

What’s next?: The Philadelphia Eagles, first place in the NFC East, are coming to Cowboys Stadium. The task is to stop Michael Vick. It might be impossible. Dallas plays Philadelphia twice in the last five weeks of the season and has a chance to play spoiler.

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