Did the Cowboys run up the score on the Colts to avenge Frank Reich?

By , Audacy Sports

The Cowboys struggled to pull away from the Colts in Week 13 -- but once they did, they never looked back.

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Dallas owned a slim two-point leading heading into the fourth quarter, then blew out Indianapolis in the game's final 15 minutes by a margin of 33-0.

However you chop it up, the Cowboys emerged with a 54-19 rout of the Colts, who fell to 4-8-1 overall, and 1-3 under interim head coach Jeff Saturday.

The Colts' controversial hiring of Saturday -- who was awarded the job with no prior coaching experience at the college or professional level -- continues to be a talking point around the league.

In fact, according to Audacy NFL insider Jason La Canfora, coaches in the NFL community were "disgusted" by the firing of former head coach Frank Reich in favor of Saturday, and they will continue to spike the proverbial football on Colts owner Jim Irsay any chance they get.

So, is that what happened in the Colts-Cowboys game?

Obviously it's difficult to ascribe such motives in a game that was still in question at the outset of the final quarter -- and it also bears noting that Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy coached Saturday for one season with the Packers.

Still, a 35-point margin of victory is not something you see every week in the NFL.

After the Cowboys offense scored a touchdown in the opening minutes of the fourth, safety Malik Hooker returned a Colts fumble 38 yards for a touchdown on the ensuring drive. With 13:34 remaining in the game, Dallas had a comfortable 15-point lead at 34-19.

If that didn't seal it, surely a Colts interception two-plus minutes later all but did. The Cowboys then converted that turnover into six points on a three-play, 53-yard scoring drive with 9:45 remaining in the game.

The score was 40-19 at that point, but the Cowboys would go on to score two more touchdowns off Colts turnovers. Some offensive starters were lifted on Dallas' final drive, but they still managed to punch the ball in on a 23-yard scamper by Malik Davis.

So, if the Cowboys didn't run up the score on the Colts, then perhaps the Colts just outright quit. The latter is arguably more damning of Saturday than the former.

Two weeks prior, in Week 11, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni left little doubt that he badly wanted to beat the Colts in defense of Reich, who was his boss and mentor for three years with the Eagles.

"That shit was for Frank Reich!" Sirianni shouted into the stands at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis after his team's narrow one-point victory.

Sirianni's outburst came soon after NFL Network analyst and Cleveland Browns legend Joe Thomas slammed the Saturday hire as the most "disrespectful" development he'd seen in his time in professional football. He also dismissed Saturday as Irsay's "drinking buddy."

As well, legendary Steelers coach Bill Cowher called the hire a "disgrace to the coaching profession."

Meanwhile, in Week 12, Saturday got crushed by his critics after his bizarre clock management seemed to derail a potential game-winning touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter.

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