Can Colts defeat one of NFL's top passers?

The NFL's best quarterbacks have handled the Colts, which suggests the defense is in for another daunting challenge from Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense on Sunday in Dallas.

The Indianapolis Colts have lost to quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Nick Foles, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady.

They’ve defeated quarterbacks Chad Henne, Blake Bortles (twice), Charlie Whitehurst, Joe Flacco, Ryan Fitzpatrick (twice), Tom Savage, Andy Dalton, Eli Manning, Colt McCoy and Brian Hoyer.

Yeah, the first list is a bit better than the second, although Flacco and Manning have won Super Bowls.

The combined record of the four teams that have handed the Colts losses is 40-16. The 10 Colts victories have come against teams with a combined record of 55-87-1.

Is this relevant? Perhaps Sunday’s game at Dallas will reinforce what has happened so far. The Cowboys are 10-4 and quarterback Tony Romo is having an excellent season. His passer rating of 110.4 ranks second in the NFL and is the best of his 12-year career, eight points higher than his previous best.

That likely spells trouble for the Colts, who have had their troubles with the game’s best passers. Romo trails only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers in passer rating. Peyton Manning is third, Roethlisberger fourth and Brady sixth. Foles got hurt and has missed the last six games. Despite the Week 2 win at Indianapolis, he has a subpar 81.4 rating.

Colts leading tackler D’Qwell Jackson spoke Wednesday about how AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, will present a loud, playoff-type atmosphere. The Cowboys can’t afford to lose. They’re only one game ahead of the Eagles in the NFC East. One loss and an Eagles win gives Philadelphia the upper hand via tiebreaker on the division and a playoff spot.

Here’s what Jackson said about Sunday’s test.

The Colts have won four in a row to clinch the AFC South Division title and secure a playoff spot. They will rest at least offensive right tackle Gosder Cherilus (groin) and possibly No. 1 wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) and top cover cornerback Vontae Davis (groin).

“It’s definitely going to be a challenge,” said Jackson, whose 120 total tackles are tied for sixth in the NFL. “This time of year, the stakes get higher and higher, and you play better teams, better quarterbacks.

“Yeah, we’ve clinched, but we’re out to keep that momentum and prove that, like you mentioned, to answer those questions that we can play (against) better quarterbacks, better offense. This is probably the best offense we’re going to face, in terms of balance.”

Romo leads an offense with NFL leading rusher DeMarco Murray (1,687 yards, 11 TDs) and wide receiver Dez Bryant (79 receptions, 1,148 yards, league-high 13 TDs).

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.

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