The Dallas Cowboys are at .500 once again. This is not an overwhelming surprise, but one that could have been avoided very easily last week in San Diego. No sense living in the past especially when what lays in the present is far more frightening.
The Denver Broncos have been on a tear to start the season. There’s no denying Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning is playing at an elite level and no one has stood a chance so far against him and his slew of weapons. You can’t seem to stop him; you can only hope to contain him.
The Cowboys stand a chance in this match-up only if they control the lines of scrimmage. Both lines of scrimmage. That’s no easy task either. Here’s how it shakes out.
The Cowboys’ defensive line took a hit when surprise journeyman George Selvie suffered a concussion. He may not make it back on the field for Sunday’s match-up and if that’s the case Kyle Wilber will get the start. He’s very capable, but he’s young and inexperienced and may be a little undersized to hold up against the run. Either way he’s the best option the Cowboys have right now.
If the defensive line can create pressure on Manning and rattle him early he may not be at his best. This is a hard task with the way he’s playing, but if they can, they may just stand a chance.
On the opposite side of the ball, the offensive line needs to be running at a high level to give the Cowboys a chance. Like we’ve seen in the past, if you keep Manning on the sidelines he can’t burn you. This is where the running game comes into play.
DeMarco Murray is going to be a huge factor on Sunday. He, along with the offensive line, are going to need to produce long, sustained drives that chew up yardage and the clock. If the running game stalls you can put a fork in Dallas, because they will be done for. All of this hinges on if Manning can be slowed down. If Denver puts up big points fast Dallas will be forced to abandon the run. That makes them one-dimensional and that is exactly what Manning and company want.
It’s a huge task Dallas has on their hands, but it’s not impossible. The home crowd will be rocking (hopefully), there will be electricity in the air, and we’ll see if Jason Garrett’s men can really be mentally tough.