Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NFL Preseason Preview - Dallas (0-1) at Denver (0-1)

By Tony Moss, Sports Network
The Sports Network

A pair of clubs looking to secure their first win of the 2008 preseason will convene at Invesco Field at Mile High on Saturday night, when the Denver Broncos play host to the Dallas Cowboys in the second August warm-up for each team.

The homestanding Broncos were 19-16 losers at Houston in their preseason lid- lifter, though Mike Shanahan's club was able to take some positive signs from the game.

Denver quarterback Jay Cutler was a sharp 8-of-10 passing for 59 yards before yielding to backups Patrick Ramsey (6-of-11, 32 yards, 2 INT) and Darrell Hackney (4-of-7, 62 yards), with Cutler scoring the Broncos' lone touchdown of the night on a 15-yard scramble in the first quarter.

The Broncos running game, meanwhile, was able to muster 123 yards in the contest despite the absence of promising rookie Ryan Torain, who could be out up to three months with a broken elbow suffered on Aug. 6th.

Second-year pro Andre Hall was Denver's leading ground gainer with 43 yards on eight carries in the loss.

Veteran cornerback Tyrone Poole, signed by the Broncos on Wednesday, has a chance to see his first action of the season on Saturday. The 36-year-old Poole, who was last active as a member of the Raiders in 2006, also played for Denver during the 2002 campaign.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, come off a 31-17 loss at the Chargers last Saturday, a game that saw the team's first unit play sparingly.

Quarterback Tony Romo was a perfect 3-of-3 for 33 yards before yielding to backups Brad Johnson (5-of-15, 89 yards, 1 INT) and Richard Bartel (7-of-15, 64 yards), and other Dallas stars such as wideout Terrell Owens (zero catches) and running back Marion Barber (4 carries, 24 yards) played only limited minutes.

The Cowboys did receive an encouraging first look from first-round running back Felix Jones, however, as the former Arkansas star rushed six times for 32 yards and caught two passes totaling 29 yards in his first live appearance with the team.

On the injury front for Dallas, cornerback Terence Newman (groin) remains out and linebacker Anthony Spencer (knee) is regarded as questionable for Saturday.

The all-time preseason series between the Broncos and Cowboys is deadlocked, 6-6, with Dallas evening the series by virtue of a 31-20 home victory prior to last season.

The most memorable matchup between the two franchises all-time occurred in Super Bowl XII from New Orleans, won by the Cowboys, 27-10.