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Practicing in pads helps running game

For the first time this season the Cowboys have run for 100 yards as a team in four straight games.

Sunday’s win at Indianapolis, however, was their best rushing game of the season. Against the New York Giants, Detroit and New Orleans the Cowboys best runs came on a 29-yard naked bootleg by Jon Kitna

and a 60-yard reverse by Miles Austin.

Against the Colts, Tashard Choice ran for 100 yards and Felix Jones had 83. The Cowboys finished with 217 yards on 46 carries.

“Football is a game of confidence and when you play with confidence things start going well,” right tackle Marc Colombo said.

The Cowboys have picked up 595 yards on the ground on136 carries in the last four games. They had a similar stretch to close the 2009 regular season with 564 rushing yards on 125 carries against San Diego, New Orleans, Washington and Philadelphia.

Colombo does not believe it is a coincidence the running game has improved since Jason Garrett instituted full padded practices on Wednesday and shoulder pads only on Thursday.

“I think offensive line-wise it does help because it gives us better looks,” Colombo said. “Our show team, the scout team, we’re really getting good looks from them. They’re coming hard, like we see in games and it’s paying off as an offensive line. And I’m sure it’s paying off in other areas.”