Colts Ready For Explosive Dallas Offense

Intro: The Colts defense has strung together some solid performances the past few weeks. How are they viewing Sunday’s matchup against one of the league’s most balanced offensive attacks?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Mike Adams didn't have to hear the entire question to know it's ultimate path.

You guys have played good defense lately, but do you feel this week is different with it being Dallas?

Over the past four weeks, the Colts defense has played some of its best football of the season.

At the same time, those opposing offenses haven't been among the league's elite.

That changes this weekend, with the Dallas Cowboys on the schedule.

Adams knows this, and he's a bit curious, too.

"That's a challenge we are going to take personally," Adams says of people doubting the Colts defense. "We put that challenge on ourselves, not from you guys, but we took upon that challenge already.

"I know what we've got, I like what we've got, but we have to show more of what we've got. We've got to show more of that consistency."

Everything for Dallas' offense begins with running back DeMarco Murray.

The Colts are preparing for the Cowboys as if Murray will play on Sunday. Murray had surgery on his left hand Monday but with the Cowboys in a virtual must-win situation this week, his presence on the field is needed.

Why?

Well, Murray leads the NFL in accounting for 38 percent of his team's offensive production and he is challenging several league records thanks to his 11 100-yard rushing games this season.

Chuck Pagano calls the Dallas offensive line, with three former first-round picks, the best group the Colts have seen thus far in 2014.

"You got DeMarco Murray that makes that entire offense go," D'Qwell Jackson says of the Cowboys ground attack.

"It's going to be a great task for us defensively. If we can come out and carry over what we've done these past few weeks, in that environment, it will do wonders for our confidence."

With eight, and sometimes even nine, players committed to the box in trying to contain Murray, Dallas has taken full advantage of one-on-one matchups with wide receiver Dez Bryant.

The Eagles faced the consequences of this dilemma last week.

Bryant made them pay with three touchdown catches in turning a performance worthy of his first NFC Offensive Player of the Week award.

"He's the ultimate competitor," Vontae Davis says of Bryant.

"This league, there's not too many competitors around the league like Dez Bryant."

Toss in a veteran tight end like Jason Witten and quarterback Tony Romo playing some the best football of his career late in the year, you see why people view Sunday's matchup as a barometer for what the Colts could see in January.

The AFC playoff picture is shaping up with divisional round and possible championship game matchups leading through New England and/or Denver.

It might be just Week 16, but come Sunday the Colts will get an early preview of an explosive offensive attack playing at home this time of year.

"It's going to be a heck of a challenge to see exactly where we're at," Pagano says.

"We've played good defense the last couple weeks. The whole idea is to stay consistent and go play well, play better than we did last week and that's what we're preparing to try to do."

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