Hello Cowboys Nation! It's week two in the NFL and that means the Dallas Cowboys are on their way to play the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium. It's been a tough offseason, and the hits keep coming too, but nothing matters right now except for Dallas vs. Denver. Cowboys and Broncos. Thin air and intimidating grandstands. America's Team and... well, you get the jist.
Obviously, the first note I have for this game is for the Cowboys defense. On paper, they're eh, just so-so, but they played a hell of a game last week holding the New York Giants--minus star wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr.--to just three points. A field goal that came on a goalline stand.
If you haven't already, tip your hat to the Dallas Cowboys defense, ladies and gentlemen, because they earned it. If you're not wearing a hat, a hearty "hell yeah!" will suffice until you find one.
Ezekiel Elliott looked good. He'll need to look good this week too. He's fought hard to be out on that field Sunday and another 100-yard performance will do just fine. Actually, if he rushes for more than 80 yards on Sunday, 24/7 Sports says he'll break a 31-year-old NFL record of 15 consecutive games with at least 80 yards rushing. Not sure how that works since he was active week 17 in 2016, he just didn't play. But the NFL loves Zeke, so one more column with his name in it works for me.
Dak Prescott got off to a rocky start against the Giants, but settled into a groove as the game progressed. Coach Scott Linehan attributed some of his early inaccuracy to opening day jitters, so I'd expect to get a calmer, more poised Prescott against the Broncos.
Now, about the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos controlled the clock against the Chargers in week one, averaging 3.9 yards per rush for 140 team rushing yards. However, the offensive line was not able to protect Trevor Siemian, allowing four sacks for 38 yards. The Broncos gave up two turnovers (1 interception, 1 fumble lost), and passed for 219 gross yards. The Cowboys defense is largely untested so this will be another chance for them to show what they can do.
On defense, the Broncos held the Chargers to just 64 yards on the ground. They gave up 192 yards on 22 completions through the air, taking one away.
The key in this game will be the Cowboys offensive line.
La'el Collins held off the pass rush pretty well at right tackle, and even knocked Jason Pierre-Paul on his ass once. But it was the guards, Chaz Green and Zack Martin who held their ground throughout the game. Right now, the biggest question on the o-line is Green's health, not the personnel.
If the Cowboys offensive line can open holes for Zeke and give Dak time to find an open receiver, the Broncos will have a tough time beating them.
As always, I encourage you to add your own predictions for the game in our comments section below.
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Ezekiel Elliott's Big Day Pushes DAL To 2-0
The Dallas Cowboys run game is dominant against Denver's front-7. Ezekiel Elliott scores his first TD of the year along with 130 yards on the ground. Connor Livesay – @connorx147
Cowboys 31 – Broncos 17
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Ezekiel Elliott tops 300 total yards at Mile High
Much will be said about this Denver Broncos defense, deservedly so, but this same unit finished 28th against the run last year. While they looked better holding the Chargers to 64 yards on the ground the game script got away from LA, who needed to come back from being down 24-7 late in the game. Dallas has a much better line and running back, I expect them to control this game despite Trevor Siemian keeping it close. Zeke shall be fed. Christopher Waetjen – @SingForTheDay
Cowboys 27 – Broncos 22
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Elliott and the Offensive Line Lead the Way
The Dallas Cowboys build on a strong win against the New York Giants while limiting Von Miller's impact on the game. The offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott keep the team ahead of the chains allowing Dak Prescott to continue his efficient play against a top defense. The secondary receiving options of Terrance Williams, Jason Witten, Cole Beasley and Brice Butler will be the key to the Dallas passing game. John Williams – @john9williams
Cowboys 24 – Broncos 14
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Underrated Defense Carries Cowboys To 2-0 Start
If the Cowboys' defense carries over their defensive dominance into this matchup, the Broncos may not even get 13. I question is which defense is better between Denver and New York, but regardless, I think our running game should carry us to victory. The Landry Trophy – @TheLandryTrophy
Cowboys 20 – Broncos 13
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Feed Zeke, Don´t Break
Another low-scoring game is in the works for the Dallas Cowboys. Even though the Broncos have an elite air defense, I expect this team to control the clock. Feed Zeke. The defense has a bend-but-don't-break type of game and does just enough. Boom. 2-0. Mauricio Rodriguez – @PepoR99
Cowboys 23 – Broncos 13
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Cowboys' rushing attack prevails over Broncos' defense
In back-to-back weeks the Dallas Cowboys will face a tough defense. They were able to overcome an overpaid New York Giants defense last Sunday and should be able to do so once again against the Denver Broncos. I think it will be another close game, but I don't think the Broncos D will be able to hold up against the Cowboys OL and Ezekiel Elliott for four quarters. Brian Martin – @bmart0204
Cowboys 21 – Broncos 17
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The Denver secondary should be able to give Dak Prescott and the passing attack a tough time on Sunday, but I expect the Cowboys to be able to control this game on the ground. Their running game will be the difference as each team struggles for chunk plays through the air. Dallas wins this one and gets to 2-0 on the year. Kevin Brady – @KevinBrady88
Cowboys 23 – Broncos 13
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Mile High Statement
The Broncos obviously are not the same team that won Super Bowl 50, but they are still formidable enough at 1-0 to give the Cowboys a chance for a statement victory that I expect them to secure. With more balance on offense, and a chance to hit on more big plays with Zeke Elliott, the Cowboys can put Trevor Siemian in a hole early. Oh, and this Dallas defense might just be up to the challenge as well. Sean Martin – @ShoreSportsNJ
Cowboys 28 – Broncos 14
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The Cowboys will be riding high after getting that Giant monkey off their backs, and that will be their undoing in a road game against a great defensive team. Denver played solid, balanced offense last week and have a great home field advantage. Jess Haynie – @CowboysAddicts
Cowboys 20 – Broncos 24
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Turnovers Will be the Difference Maker
The Cowboys took the ball in week 1, and Rod Marinelli is fanatical about attacking the ball. I believe this game will come down to takeaways, and which team has the most. With Elliott able to grind the clock and Dak's low career INT total, I expect the Cowboys to win the turnover battle. Bryson Treece – @BrysonTreece
Cowboys 17 – Broncos 10
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The Broncos defense has the might to make this a long game for the Cowboys, but they also haven't faced a team like the Cowboys yet. It's an explosive offense with weapons at every position. Can Denver handle it? Can the young Cowboys? We shall see.
Could OC Kellen Moore Be More “Vanilla” Against Dolphins This Week?
The Cowboys are sort of in a no-win situation this Sunday.
If they come out and dominate the openly tanking Miami Dolphins, they'll have done exactly what they should do. But, if they lose to this putrid roster or lose one of their key players to injury, then this week three game would be considered a disaster.
So how should the Cowboys approach the Miami Dolphins?
Something tells me that new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore may look more "basic" than usual this week. Heralded for his creativity over the first two games, Moore may not want to show too much against the lowly Dolphins. Especially if the Cowboys can simply impose their will, a la the 2016 offensive gameplan.
Running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard should expect a lot of inside and outside zone opportunities this week, with each having a chance to have their best individual performances of the season. Tight end Blake Jarwin and wide receiver Devin Smith could see a lot of opportunities through the air as well, as the Cowboys may want to avoid putting Amari Cooper in situations which could cause injury.
Kellen Moore may want to come out firing with Dak Prescott and this dynamic passing game at first to get a quick lead, and then look to shorten the game as much as possible with his running game.
Honestly, as much as Cowboys Nation may not like it, I wouldn't be shocked if Miami covered this lofty 23 point spread. Dallas could look to get up a couple touchdowns, then proceed to sit on the ball and just look to get out of the stadium alive. Especially considering that the schedule gets much more difficult in the weeks following this Miami game.
With key NFC matchups against the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, and Philadelphia Eagles looming large, health is the most important factor this week against the Dolphins.
Well, health and winning, of course.
#DALvsMIA: Betting Preview, Trends, And Prediction
Dallas and Miami could not be in more different modes heading into this week's game.
At 2-0 the Cowboys are looking to take the next step and earn themselves a Super Bowl ring. At a historically bad 0-2, the Dolphins are looking to go 0-16 and get a shot at drafting the top quarterback in next year's draft.
Vegas has this game at a ridiculous 21 point spread, which should rightfully scare gamblers away. But, both the Ravens and Patriots have beaten the brakes off Miami already this year, and Dallas seems primed to do so as well.
Cowboys -21. O/U 47.5 Points
The Cowboys are off to their best start since 2015, and they certainly expect their next 14 games to go much better than they did during that 2015 season. Dallas' offense is as dynamic as any in the league through two weeks, and quarterback Dak Prescott is playing like a legit MVP candidate.
Defensively, the Cowboys have been a bit disappointing thus far, but they have to be feeling like Sunday is the perfect opportunity for a "get right game." Defensive end Robert Quinn returns from suspension to take on his former team, and DeMarcus Lawrence looks to be getting his legs under him after missing all of training camp.
Prescott's favorite target during the opening victories, Michael Gallup, is set to miss this game with an injury, but I don't expect it to matter much against the Dolphins.
Where to even begin with the Miami Dolphins.
After trading for former first round pick Josh Rosen this offseason, the Dolphins decided to start journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Then they traded their own former first round left tackle Laremy Tunsil for a slew of high draft picks. Then, most recently, they traded another former first rounder in Minkah Fitzpatrick for even more picks.
Miami is doing everything they can do to hoard draft picks, ensuring they'll have their pick of the top quarterbacks over the next two draft classes. In the end, this tanking strategy could very well work for the Dolphins, but in 2019 they are going to look really bad.
They've been dominated and embarrassed both weeks thus far, and most expect that embarrassment to continue Sunday against the Cowboys. Operation Fish Tank is in full effect.
- The Dolphins are 0-5 against the spread their last 5 games.
- The score total has gone over in 4 of Miami's last 6 games.
- The Cowboys are 6-0 outright their last 6 home games.
- The score total has gone over in each of the Cowboys' last 5 games.
If it were to happen, this would be one of the worst losses I could ever remember in Cowboys history. Luckily, I highly doubt the Cowboys don't take care of business on Sunday.
Miami is downright trying to lose football games, and it's hard to imagine this group coming into Dallas and beating such a talented bunch. I'll take the Cowboys big, but I don't have the guts to bet any team -21 in the NFL.
Takeaway Tuesday: Zeke Had The Exact Kind of Game Cowboys Need
It's pretty difficult to deal with the hype of being 2-0 to open a 2019 NFL season. The Dallas Cowboys have done just that with a revamped offense and a quarterback that's thrown seven touchdowns in the process. They currently sit alone atop of the NFC East and although it's too early to know what kind of team this will be when it's all said alone, we're excited.
Let's dive into this week's takeaways!
We Need Robert Quinn Back
The Dallas Cowboys defense hasn't been as bad as many would think. They've had a few bad moments but the talent is still there and should be improving as the season goes on. Last Sunday, what was most frustrating to me was the lack of a pass rush. DeMarcus Lawrence had a pretty good game, even though his stat line doesn't look very pretty. The pressure was there constantly and he forced a handful of bad plays from Case Keenum. Tyrone Crawford managed to sack him once.
Other than that, for most of the game the pressure was scarce. Fortunately, the Cowboys are getting Robert Quinn back from suspension this week. Having two quality edge rushers will boost a defense that has the potential to be great, but has only been "good" two weeks into the season.
Ezekiel Elliott Had The Kind of Game The Cowboys Need
Zeke was back for a heavier workload in week 2 after having a snap count in the season opener. It may have not felt like it, but the Cowboys' star running back had a pretty good game versus the Redskins. On 23 carries he had 111 yards and a touchdown, averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
In contrast of recent years, Elliott had a great game without the team heavily leaning on the running game. Dak Prescott threw the ball 30 times and Zeke still had a great game. This is what Cowboys Nation should want out of Kellen Moore's offense.
Elliott has two rushing touchdowns in the season, compared to six in all of last year. This is a product of an offense that's now dangerous in many ways, specially in the red zone. You gotta love what Moore is accomplishing so far.
Slow Starts Can't Continue to Happen
The biggest issue with the Cowboys in the first two weeks of the season has been their slow openings. In both games they've started trailing early. The worst thing about it is that it's been due to giving up big plays (like Saquon Barkley's big run in week 1) and quick, unsuccessful drives on offense (like a three-and-out drive followed by a drive that ended in an interception last Sunday).
Fortunately for the Cowboys, the Giants and Redskins didn't pose much of a problem. But when we reach the tougher stretches of the schedule, we know how quickly a game can turn south. Not every rival will be as unforgiving as the 0-2 foes they've faced so far.
Dak Prescott Continues to Prove He's It
Last but not least, we'll talk about Dak Prescott. Once again, he looked great. He finished the day with 269 yards, three touchdowns and an interception that came on a tipped ball from Randall Cobb's hand. He threw an absolute dime to WR Devin Smith, giving him his ninth 50+ yard touchdown pass of his career (ranking third in the NFL since 2016 behind Tom Brady and Philip Rivers).
All game long, he was precise against Washington's defense. He dealt three touchdowns to three different players and was making throws with anticipation and poise. If you're not sold on Dak Prescott yet, I don't know if you'll ever be.
He also looked well as a runner, specially on that 42-yard run where he stiffed arm Josh Norman. I hope the Cowboys continue to use him in the running game.
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