Dallas, who is 2-1 since Jason Garrett took over for Wade Phillips, is coming off a 30-27 Thanksgiving Day loss against the defending champion New Orleans Saints. Dallas trailed by 17 points on two occasions and were in position to win the game in the fourth quarter until a Roy Williams fumble proved costly, leading to a Drew Brees touchdown drive.
For the second straight week, the Cowboys will take on a Super Bowl 44 participant. The defending AFC Champion Colts lost to the Saints last February in Miami in Super Bowl 44. Now, the Colts find themselves coming off back-to-back losses to the Patriots and Chargers and are fighting for a playoff spot. The Jaguars currently lead the AFC South by virtue of a tiebreaker, as they beat the Colts but share the same 6-5 record. Tennessee and Houston remain in the mix as well, sitting only a game back at 5-6.
Peyton Manning hasn't been sharp during the Colts November slump. Manning has thrown nine interceptions in his last four games, three losses, and only seven touchdowns in that span. The slump has hurt both the Colts' playoff chances and Manning's MVP chances. Still, the Colts control their own destiny with three divisional games out of their last five.
Starting running back for the Colts Joseph Addai isn't likely to play with a neck injury.
Dallas will also be short a running back as Marion Barber is expected to miss at least this week's game with a calf injury. As a result, Tashard Choice's role in the offense is likely to expand. Choice will likely slide into Barber's role while Barber is sidelined. Miles Austin, who had swelling in his forearm following the loss to the Saints, is expected to play.
This will be Dallas' first trip to Lucas Oil Stadium. The Cowboys last played in Indianapolis in 2002 when the Colts called the RCA Dome their home. The Colts and Cowboys last played in 2006 when Dallas won, 21-14.