The Dallas Cowboys were picked by many to follow-up on their 13-3 season last year with a berth in the Super Bowl but if Sunday was any indication, they have a long way to go.
The resurgent Denver Broncos defense tormented young studs Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott on the way to a 42-17 walloping that will take some time for the Cowboys to get out of their heads.
The Broncos are looking to bounce back following last year’s disappointment where they not only failed to defend their Super Bowl crown but also failed to even make the NFL playoffs. The defense slipped and there were offensive problems as well, not the least being the lack of a starting caliber NFL quarterback.
The favored Cowboys swaggered into Invesco Stadium at Mile High and had their asses handed to them.
— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) September 20, 2017
Denver rode surprisingly strong play from former seventh-rounder Trevor Siemian who staked the team to an early – and insurmountable – lead with three first-half touchdown passes. The Broncos came out flying and even after an hour-long lightning delay, didn’t lose their mojo.
It was so bad that second-year Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was held to a miserable eight yards rushing and was accused of quitting on the team. The way that Elliott played along with his attitude may have Dallas wishing that he ends up getting suspended for those six games just to get his act together.
Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott – who was so good as a rookie last year – also had no answer for the Denver defense and turned in a rare bad game. Granted he had the snot pounded out of him all game long by swarming, orange-clad defenders but the Cowboys normal potency was nullified by Elliott’s lack of production.
Prescott threw 2 interceptions including the cherry on the cake of the day of misery – an end zone pick that was taken 103 yards to the house by Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib to put an exclamation point on the beatdown.
For Dallas, they were probably really as good as last year’s record would indicate and their early ouster from the playoffs despite the number one seed seems to support that theory. Success came too fast and there will be growing pains for a team with such a young quarterback.
Denver must be mile high though after the win.
While Siemian is more of a game manager, he is working in a new offensive scheme under coordinator Mike McCoy and has two great receivers. If he can just get them the ball and let them do the work, that could be a winning formula. He does have a tendency to make boneheaded plays and turn the ball over and still isn’t the long-term solution but the Broncos rode a broken-down Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler and a killer defense to a Super Bowl title just two years ago.
Denver goes to Buffalo this weekend while Dallas tries to regroup in a Monday night road contest against the Arizona Cardinals.