Week 2 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At Denver Broncos

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 10: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys carries the ball against Olivier Vernon #54 of the New York Giants in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Trevor Siemian #13 hands the ball off to C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
  • Quarterback
    There’s a great deal of pressure on Dak Prescott, but the second-year quarterback appears to have the skills and mental make-up to handle the assignment. He has shown the ability to avoid the major mistakes that regularly dog young quarterbacks, and that’s one reason the Cowboys can pile up wins. The Denver defense should be able to test him severely.
    Trevor Siemian is a decent leader who understands the responsibilities of playing quarterback in the NFL, but he has limited skills as a passer. Still, he had the ability to hold onto the job once again and beat out first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch. Siemian needs a decent ground game and is not going to beat anyone with his deep throwing.
  • Offense
    It appears a decision by a federal judge will allow Ezekiel Elliott to play here, but the NFL has gone back to court in an attempt to reverse that call. Elliott has power to run through the interior and the sped to get to the outside. Dez Bryant is tough and physical, and he has an excellent chance to win the battle on 50-50 balls. TE Jason Witten is a prolific receiver who refuses to slow down.
    The Broncos want to establish the run in an effort to make the game more manageable for Siemian. C.J. Anderson is a talented back with speed and the ability to pack a punch when he hits the hole. Ex-Chief Jamaal Charles could be a game-changing runner. Demaryius Thomas has size, strength and speed on the outside, while Emmanuel Sanders is a gamebreaker.
  • Defense
    The Dallas defense did a superb job of keeping the Giants from making big plays in Week One, and that will be their mission this season. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli does not have a lot of superstars on his defense, but this unit plays with intelligence and aggressiveness. Linebacker Sean Lee is one of the best tacklers in the league.
    The Broncos have the kind of big-play defense to overcome an ordinary offensive attack. Von Miller may be the most explosive defensive player in the league, and he will face a major challenge when facing the Dallas offensive line. Derek Wolfe is a solid contributor at defensive end, while Domata Peko has been very good at stopping the interior run. Brandon Marshall is a dynamic tackler.
  • Special Teams
    The Cowboys do a solid job of covering kickoffs and punts, and veteran PK Dan Bailey is one of the best in the league. He connected on 27-of-32 FG attempts last year, and was a perfect 4-of-4 in the win over the Giants. Donnie Jones is a slightly better than average punter.
    The Broncos are usually quite productive with their special teams, but that was not the case last year as they finished in the bottom quarter of the league. Brandon McManus has decent leg strength and he made 29 of 34 FG attempts last year.
This could be an opportunity for the Cowboys to follow up their key Week One victory over the Giants with a solid road win. Much depends on the status of Elliott, but the Cowboys should be able to shut down the Denver attack and do enough when they have the ball to get the victory.

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