Sunday, October 04, 2009

DMN Blog: Breaking down the Cowboys-Broncos matchups

By Todd Archer/Reporter

When the Cowboys run

The Broncos are allowing just 3.3 yards per carry through three games but they have not faced an offensive line like Dallas' just yet. The Cowboys have posted consecutive 200-yard rushing days for the first time since 1979 and even without Felix Jones have confidence in the ground game. EDGE: Cowboys

When the Cowboys pass

No cornerback has more interceptions than Champ Bailey's 25 since 2004 but he does not have one yet this year. Tony Romo has to make excellent decisions against a front seven that can bring pressure, led by Elvis Dumervil, who has six sacks. With time, Romo should be able to find openings in the middle of the field. EDGE: Cowboys

When the Broncos run

The Cowboys are familiar with Correll Buckhalter from his Phildelphia days, but he has adapted well to the Broncos' zone running scheme as has rookie Knowshon Moreno. In the last two weeks the run defense has shored up its leaks but Denver provides a unique test with its blocking scheme. EDGE: Broncos

When the Broncos pass

Kyle Orton is one of three starting quarterbacks without an interception this year. He makes solid decisions and can mix the ball around to a number of targets. Five guys have at least one catch of 25 yards or more this year. This will be a tougher test for the secondary than Carolina because of the Broncos' variety. EDGE: Broncos.

Special teams

After kickoffs teams are starting on average at the 21.8 against the Cowboys. Denver's is even better at the 20.6. David Buehler and Matt Prater have seven touchbacks each. Mat McBriar put five punts inside the 20 vs. Carolina, which should flip field position for the Cowboys. EDGE: Cowboys


How good are the Broncos? They have played Cincinnati, Cleveland and Oakland. How good are the Cowboys? Their wins have come against winless teams. This will be the Cowboys first regular-season trip to Invesco Field at Mile High, where Denver owns a 45-20 record there since its opening. EDGE: Broncos