The Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos meet up on Saturday afternoon for one of the marquee matchups of Week 2. The Cowboys are coming off an easy win against the lifeless Giants, while the Broncos narrowly escaped the San Diego Chargers on MNF. It looked like the Chargers and Broncos were heading for overtime, but head coach Vance Joseph pulled the old “freeze the kicker” trick and it worked out well. The first kick was up and good, which was wiped away by the timeout. The ensuing try resulted in a block and the Broncos survived at Mile High. Hard loss for Philip Rivers and company, but conversely, a nice job surviving by the Broncos.
The Broncos will welcome a stronger opponent this week, the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys did not have to do much against a Giants squad who were clueless without Odell Beckham suited up. Eli Manning was unable to get his receivers involved, notably Brandon Marshall who had just 1 reception for 10 yards. I must have missed that play, because I don’t recall him catching a ball. For as bad as the Giants were, we must give credit to the Cowboys’ secondary. Much has been made of how bad the Giants’ offense was, and it was, but the Cowboys’ defense came into that game with a solid plan.
Dak Prescott played soundly, passing for 268 yards with a touchdown and 24 yards rushing. He didn’t force anything or run into any mistakes, and against the Broncos, that is necessary to pull out a win, especially on the road. Broncos’ quarterback, Trevor Siemian, did the same against the Chargers. He limited the mistakes and didn’t lose the game.
Siemian notched 3 quarterbacks in total, 2 passing and 1 rushing. He rushed in for a touchdown on a nifty move to fake out Joey Bosa near the goal-line. Siemian typically doesn’t get himself into trouble, so I expect another competent game out of him. The Cowboys have more than just Prescott, though, the Broncos must deal with Ezekiel Elliott running the rock. If there is any area to beat the Broncos in, it’s going to be running the football. The Cowboys have an offensive line to compete here. This game will come down to their offensive line against the Broncos’ defense. Head below for our free Cowboys vs. Broncos pick.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos Betting Odds:
vs. Broncos +3(-115)
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Cowboys vs. Broncos Pick:
There didn’t appear to be any sophomore slump in Prescott’s game in Week 1. They moved the ball effectively, and Prescott looked comfortable in the pocket. This really wasn’t a game the offense needed to win, though. The Cowboys were fortunate enough that they didn’t have to open their playbook up and reveal too much of their hand. The defense turned it up and made life miserable for the Giants. Eli passed for 220 yards with no touchdowns and 1 interception. The running game was non-existent. They ran the ball and got stuffed by the Cowboys every down. Their leading rusher, Paul Perkins, ran for 16 yards.
I expect the Cowboys to try and force Siemian to beat them. They should be strong against the run again in Week 2. Siemian will have to come up with big plays in this game. Prescott is capable of coming up with big plays, but is Siemian going to match Prescott in that regard? The Broncos have a wicked defense to help him out. Rivers passed for 192 yards last week. Other than one busted coverage by Denver in the secondary for 38 yards, Rivers was getting frustrated.
The Broncos shut down effective runner Melvin Gordon. He ran for 54 yards, and in total the Chargers rushed for 64 yards in total. Elliott is going to get the ball early and often in this game. If the Cowboys’ offensive line can impose their will on one of the best defenses in the NFL, they will win this game. I just expect this matchup to be dominated by defense on both sides. It’s going to be like a chess match, with each defense trying to bait the other into making a game changing mistake. Look for a low-scoring, close battle between the Cowboys and Broncos in Week 2.
PICK: UNDER 43.5 (-110)