|1:25 PM PT2:25 PM MT3:25 PM CT4:25 PM ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 PM MST3:25 PM EST3:25 PM CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:� , September 17, 2017|
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado Weather: 72°, Partly Cloudy Attendance: 76,919
Broncos prepare to tackle Cowboys' offense
Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos
- Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos
- The Cowboys rode a dominant defensive performance and efficient offense to a 19-3 home win over the Giants on Sunday night. Dallas outgained New York, 392-233, as only one drive by the visitors penetrated the Cowboys' 30-yard line. Dak Prescott passed for 268 yards in a turnover-free performance, connecting with Jason Witten for a 12-yard second-quarter touchdown, the only TD of the night. Dan Bailey kicked four field goals, and Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 104 yards for the winners.
- On Monday at home against the Chargers, the Broncos rolled to a 24-7 lead after three quarters before hanging on to eke out a 24-21 win. Trevor Siemian threw two short TD passes to Bennie Fowler and ran for another score -- his first career rushing TD. Aided by a Jamaal Charles fumble, the Chargers scored two fourth-quarter TDs in a 70-second span; they had a chance to tie the score in the final five seconds, but Shelby Harris' block of Younghoe Koo's 44-yard field-goal attempt sealed Denver's win.
- The Broncos have won the last five meetings with the Cowboys, dating back to 1998, with each of the last four decided by seven points or fewer. The series includes a 27-10 win for Dallas over Denver in Super Bowl XII, and a 51-48 Broncos win at Dallas in the teams' last meeting, on October 6 2013.The game is one of only five in NFL history in which a team scored 48 or more points and lost.
- Last week's victory moved Dak Prescott's record to 12-2 in his career in games in which he has not thrown an interception; he is 2-2 (including postseason) when picked off at least once. In four games against AFC teams in 2016, Prescott passed for 1094 yards, nine touchdowns, no interceptions and a 127.2 rating, as Dallas won all four games.
- Trevor Siemian has a 4-0 career record in September, with the Broncos averaging 27.0 points per game in his four starts in the season's opening month. He has a completion percentage of 65.6 in September, compared to compared to 57.7 percent in all other months. Siemian is also unblemished versus NFC teams (3-0), despite being sacked 11 times in three interconference games.
- Since the start of last season, the Denver defense is allowing a 71.4 passer rating, lowest among all teams; the Broncos' 16 TD passes surrendered in that span are tied (with the Giants) for the fewest among all teams. In that same time, Dallas' Dak Prescott ranks third in the NFL in passer rating (minimum 300 attempts) at 103.8.
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DENVER -- The Dallas Cowboys' offense thrives on the simplicity of physical play and that's what makes them so tough to stop.
"It's not a complicated offense to prepare for or defend, but they're so good at what they do, so it will be challenging," said Denver coach Vance Joseph, whose Broncos (1-0) host the Dallas Cowboys (1-0) on Sunday.
It starts with an offensive line that Joseph called the best in the league and includes three All-Pro players in Zack Martin, Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick.
Ezekiel Elliott zoomed to stardom running behind them as a rookie last season, running for a league-leading 1,631 yards, and he picked up where he left off in Dallas' opening 19-3 win over the New York Giants in which he ran for 104 yards.
"That's what we expect every week," Elliott said. "We're going to run the football. We're going to show you different looks, but it's going to be the same four plays. It's going to be you versus us. You've got to stop us. You've got to be better than us."
The offensive line also has provided the protection that spurred the development of second-year quarterback Dak Prescott into a steady, reliable offensive leader who has guided the Cowboys to wins in 14 of their last 16 regular-season games.
"Obviously, they had a lot of talent coming out," Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said during a conference call with Denver area reporters. "But more than anything else, I just think it's their approach. They have a lot of confidence in themselves. They understand our run concepts, our zone scheme that we're trying to do. They have an unbelievable competitor's mindset. They just fight."
Getting through that line of defense to disrupt Prescott and Elliott poses a major test for a Broncos defense that played well for the most part in Denver's opening 24-21 win over the Los Angeles Chargers that was preserved by a blocked field goal attempt in the final seconds of regulation.
The Broncos limited Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, who had had more than 200 yards rushing in two games against the Broncos last season, to 54 yards rushing last week even though their defensive line was depleted by injury.
San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers didn't get going against the Denver defense until two fourth-quarter turnovers by the Broncos' offense opened the door to quick strikes little more than a minute apart.
Yet Broncos pass rushing linebacker Von Miller said the power of the Cowboys' offensive line makes it that much tougher to deal with Prescott and Elliott as well as Witten and wide receiver Dez Bryant.
"He's poised back there and he just doesn't look like a second-year player," Miller said of Prescott. "Last year, he didn't look like a rookie. He has one of the best, if not the best, offensive lines blocking for him and one of the best, if not the best, running back behind him.
"If I was a quarterback, I'd be walking around like Dak Prescott too."
Both teams are dealing with injuries heading into Sunday's matchup.
Denver running back Devontae Booker (wrist fracture) resumed practicing in a limited fashion but likely won't be available this week.
Also, guard Ron Leary remains in concussion protocol and is questionable to play against his former team. Defensive linemen Jared Crick (back) and Zach Kerr (knee) both practiced in limited fashion after missing Denver's opener.
In addition, safety Darian Stewart missed some practice time with a groin injury suffered in the opener and rookie left tackle Garett Bolles was limited in practice with a shoulder injury.
For the Cowboys, wide receiver Terrance Williams, who had six catches for 68 yards in the opener, is dealing with an ankle sprain and his availability remains questionable.
Cornerback Orlando Scandrick, who broke his left hand helping make a tackle in the first game, also remains questionable.
Elliott is expected to play Sunday as the NFL battles courts over his appeal of a six-game suspension for violating the personal conduct policy. Elliott was suspended after the league concluded he had several physical confrontations last summer with Tiffany Thompson, a former girlfriend, in Columbus, Ohio. Prosecutors in the area did not file charges and Elliott alleges he was not given a fair hearing by the NFL.
Updated September 14, 2017