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Cowboys Week 9 opponent preview: The Denver Broncos

The Cowboys welcome the Broncos to town this week.

Baltimore Ravens v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

This Dallas Cowboys team took us on quite the rollercoaster ride last week in their victory over the Minnesota Vikings. We did learn a few things about this team on the way like they have a backup quarterback in Cooper Rush that can manage a game and win, and they have a defense that can step up and do the heavy lifting if called upon. This week the Cowboys are back at AT&T Stadium with the Broncos coming to town and they are looking to make it two in a row against the NFC East after beating the Washington Football Team last week. With both teams looking to pick up another win let’s take a look at this Broncos team.

Denver Broncos

2020 Record: 5-11

Last Meeting: 09/17/2017 - Broncos 42 - Cowboys 17

Head Coach: Vic Fangio

Key Additions: CB Kyle Fuller, RB Mike Boone, CB Ronald Darby, QB Teddy Bridgewater, DL Shamar Stephen

Key Losses: OLB Von Miller, CB A.J. Bouye, DL Jurrell Casey, DL Kyle Peko, RB Phillip Lindsay

Washington Football Team v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

Offensive Statistics and Analysis

Offensive Ranking: 23rd (ppg)

Passing Offense Ranking: 17th

Rush Offense Ranking: 20th

There are a few notable names on this roster in terms of offensive weapons and yet this offense ranks 23rd in the league when it comes to scoring. Thanks in part to their offensive line issues and injury to Jerry Jeudy, we don’t know just how good this offense could be with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback, and Courtland Sutton, and Noah Fant, along with Jeudy. They also have running back Melvin Gordon, a talented running back in his own right but has yet to really have a breakout game this season. Their running game as a whole isn’t going that well averaging just 103 yards per game and just four rushing touchdowns. This has led to the Broncos leaning heavily on Bridgewater to carry the load and move the ball down the field with his receivers, but with an average of 253.4 yards per game and 2.4 seconds with a clean pocket, it is somewhat surprising that Bridgewater has been completing passes at a 70.4% clip.

The Broncos have trouble completing drives and putting points on the board (19.6 ppg average), something a resurgent Dallas defense will look to continue this week. With Dallas’ speed at defensive end, linebacker, and in the secondary, they should be able to hold this offense to their usual output if not less.

NFL: OCT 31 Washington Football Team at Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Defensive Statistics and Analysis

Defensive Ranking: 2nd (PPG against)

Pass Defense Ranking: 10th

Run Defense Ranking: 9th

This is a defense that keeps teams from scoring, but is missing a key component after the trade of Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams this week. Before the trade, this defense was pretty good at getting the opposing team off the field with pressure on the quarterback (73) and 20 sacks on the season, and e in the secondary they’ve been able to get their hands on the ball with six interceptions on the year and 34 passes defended. It will be interesting to see how the absence of Miller affects the overall defense. To add to their problems, the interior of this defensive line hasn’t been as stout against the run as they were in the past and are giving up 4.2 yards per carry so far this year.

The problem in evaluating the Broncos defense is they have played some really bad offenses so far and that is likely inflating their numbers, especially the points per game against average of 17.1. It’s hard to believe they can hold the Cowboys to that kind of point total. This is a good defense but with the Cowboys firepower and the multiple ways they can attack a defense, it’s going to be a long day for this Broncos unit especially if they see themselves in third and short where their stop percentage is 34.7% and is surely going to drop.

All stats are from Profootballreference.com