Dallas Cowboys will look to continue their unbeaten home record and extend their winning streak when they host the AFC’s Denver Broncos in Arlington in Week 9.
November has been a great month so far for Dallas Cowboys fans. Dallas won a major game on the road with their backup quarterback in October’s final game. They return home with their starting quarterback ready to go for the next game.
Cooper Rush was an outstanding story for the first-place squad. But, the Cowboys now look to Dak Prescott, the MVP candidate.
The Cowboys have a new month ahead and a new challenge for Week 9. The Denver Broncos (4-4) will be in town. Despite going 1-3 in the previous four weeks, AFC West can pull off an upset if Dallas (6-1) doesn’t treat Dallas as a serious favorite.
Here are four key points for the Cowboys that will allow them to beat the Broncos in Week 9.
Terrorize Teddy Bridgewater
The offensive stats for the Broncos are poor, with an average of 338.3 yards per game and 19.6 points per contest. They are however near the top in sacks allowed, which is a category you don’t want.
The Denver quarterbacks (starter Teddy Bridgewater, backup Drew Lock) have taken 25 sacks this season, which ranks third in the league. Bridgewater is particularly bad at waiting too long before throwing, which has led to 22 takedowns.
The Broncos won’t have starting left tackle Garett Boles because he has an ankle injury. Bolles, who is widely regarded as one of the best offensive linemen in the Broncos’ history, will be out for the game with an ankle injury. This is a huge loss for Denver.
This is a huge advantage for the Cowboys who have only 12 team sacks this year, which is near the bottom in the NFL. This matchup against Broncos would be a great opportunity to use the pass rush to increase the box score.
Keep the ground score under control
The offense is not very explosive for the Broncos. They prefer to move the ball using balanced play calling and pounding the rocks to weaken defenses. The offense is also led by veteran Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams, who are both formidable at running back.
The duo combined have 752 yards of rushing and four touchdowns. They average over 4.5 yards per run. From Week 6, the Broncos may use the same strategy that the New England Patriots. Denver could use it often and early.
The Dallas defense will have to work hard to stop the Broncos running game. However, they must do so in order to stop the Cowboys high-powered offense from taking the field.
Contain Courtland Sutton
Although the Broncos’ passing game has been rocky at times this season, Sutton is still one of the best young wide receivers in all of league. Despite having a torn ACL in 2019, Sutton still leads the Broncos for receptions (40), yards (579), and yards per catch (14.2).
SMU’s fourth-year receiver has returned to his former self and is now 6’4″ and 216 lbs. This will make for a long day at the Dallas secondary. Sutton’s location is important for the Cowboys to keep him from taking over the game.
Challenge Denver secondary
The Broncos’ secondary looks to be one of the most talented in the league. They are ranked in the top 10 for yards allowed per game, under 225 yards. And they have allowed only nine passing touchdowns.
However, the Broncos’ pass defense hasn’t been able to withstand the test of better passing offenses. Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders threw 341 yards and 2 scores. Lamar Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback, threw for 316 yard and a touchdown. Even Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers’ QB, had an efficient game throwing for 253 yards with two touchdowns in just 25 attempts. These are the only three passing offenses the Broncos have ever faced, and they were able to throw on Denver.
On Sunday, the Cowboys will be able to see Patrick Surtain II (rookie cornerback), who was one of their options in the draft. Surtain’s performance in the first eight weeks of the season has been remarkable, but Surtain and the rest the Denver passing defense face a huge challenge.
Let’s see how the Broncos secondary performs, and if Prescott and the Cowboys can keep the ball moving through the air.