The Cowboys have won six in a row and look forward to hosting the Denver Broncos at home, the first time since week five they have been at home. It looks as if Dak Prescott should be available for this out of conference game, and although Cooper Rush got the job done last week, everybody will be excited to have QB1 back under center moving forward.
These two teams seem to be heading in different directions. The Cowboys look like one of the hottest teams in the league who continue to roll right through an impressive winning streak, meanwhile the Broncos won a tightly contested game versus the Washington Football Team to even up their record to 4-4, but prior to that they were on a four-game skid. The Cowboys are favorited by a wide margin and by all accounts are the vastly superior team, however the NFL is a strange entity and each opponent deserves respect and focus.
Here are five things to watch this week:
1. How the left tackle position will hold up if Tyron Smith can’t go.
Whether the team decides to take Terence Steele from his right tackle spot and put him on the left side, or they insert La’el Collins there, or even opting to plug Ty Nsehke into the lineup, there certainly will be some intrigue to see how they will fare in Smith’s absence. There are many options this team can go with and all that will certainly be worked out through the week, but what is important is the Cowboys find a way to limit the drop off in play from being detrimental.
It is near impossible to replace a player like Tyron Smith and expect the change to go off with out a hitch. However, all eyes will be in the the left side of the line to see how they hold up in keeping Dak Prescott upright and allowing the offense to continue rolling unbothered.
2. Patrick Surtain II vs this wide receiver group.
As many of you probably remember, Surtain was a very popular mock draft pick for this Cowboys team leading up to the draft. We all know how it went, and many would agree we are very satisfied with the play of Micah Parsons and how everything has shaken out for this team so far. All that being said, it doesn’t take away the intrigue fans will watch with as Surtain will be tasked with facing the league’s premier receiver group.
The belief is that Michael Gallup has a chance to be back this week as he is coming off his calf strain, and for the first time since week one the Cowboys have a realistic possibility of having the whole group together. Good luck to any opposing secondary because one through four, there is no better group in the NFL. Surtain will have his hands full and it will be fun to watch it all unfold Sunday.
3. How does Dak look coming off his hiatus?
All signs look good for QB1 being back in action and it surely is a welcoming sight for all of Cowboys Nation. With #4 under center, this team is capable of anything, but what will be interesting to see is how does he come out and perform off his three-week layoff between game action.
Will Dak come in and pick up where he left off, or does he exhibit some rust that may allow an inferior team to stick around longer than they probably should. It’s fair to assume some type of acclimation period for the QB, but Dak is a gamer, and always has been. It may not take very long for Prescott to get out there and do what he does so well as this offense gets their leader back and keeps on rolling at a league-leading clip.
4. How does this Broncos team respond without Von Miller?
The Broncos made a league-wide splash by trading away one of their long-term stars and faces of the franchise in Von Miller. When these type of moves happen midseason you always wonder about the chemistry and how a team is going to respond. This team pulled out a win versus Washington, but prior to that they were suffering a four-game losing streak.
This team isn’t without flaws, and they are dealing with a few impactful injuries on both sides of the ball, but beyond that, you wonder what a team like the Broncos will look like fresh off sending away a staple of the organization just a few days later.
5. Look for Micah Parsons the pass rusher this week.
Word around the team is it looks as if Parsons is getting some extra work with Dan Quinn and the defensive line group this week. That could be because they are trying to keep his pass rush skills sharp, or possibly due to the fact the Cowboys smell blood in the water.
Broncos left tackle Garrett Bolles will miss this week’s game and possibly more with an ankle injury, and that spells good news for this Cowboys front seven. Look for Randy Gregory to be his regular disruptive self in this matchup, but we may also get to see a little more of Micah Parsons the pass rusher as well as the Cowboys look to take advantage of his unique skill set and the Broncos injury misfortunes.