Cowboys Whip Broncos En Route to 31-20 Victory!
The Dallas Cowboys had plenty of things to be excited about as they cruised in their 31-20 crushing of the Denver Broncos. The Cowboys improved to 2-0 on the pre-season while the Denver Broncos dropped to 1-1. It really wasn’t even that close though. As expected, most of the starters for both teams went for the entire 1st half.
It all started early for the Dallas Cowboys. Although the opening drive started slowly, Tony Romo converted a 3 & 10 and navigated the ‘Boys down the field all the way from his own 20 to the Denver 33 yard line without a hitch. Martin Gramatica missed a 51 yard field goal that sailed just wide of the right upright. This drive didn’t get to the Cowboys though, as they scored on every possession that followed in the 1st half.
After the Cowboys defense forced a 3 and out and Denver punter Todd Sauerbrun shanked a 15 yard punt to the Dallas 40, Tony Romo worked his magic. He marched the Cowboys down the field on a 12 play, 60 yard drive taking 6:08 off the clock that ended in a Marion Barber TD to give the Cowboys a 7-0 lead.
On the 3rd play of Denver’s ensuing possession, Travis Henry fumbled the ball on 2nd & 20. It was recovered by Marcus Spears at the Denver 7 yard line. Just two plays later, the Cowboys would capitalize off the mistake as Julius Jones powered his way into the end zone for a touchdown to give the ‘Boys a 14-0 lead.
After yet another Denver punt, Dallas had the ball again. However, 4 plays into the Cowboys’ next drive, Romo’s pass intended for Miles Austin would be intercepted by Dre Bly after Austin slipped and couldn’t get back to the ball in time. Bly returned it to the Dallas 37. The Cowboys defense stiffened up once again, and held Denver to only 3 points, cutting the Dallas lead to 14-3.
The Cowboys answered immediately, as Romo wasn’t phased by the pick. He orchestrated a brilliant 6 play 69 yard drive that chewed up only 2:22 off the clock. The drive ended with a 5 yard TD plunge by Marion Barber, his 2nd of the game and pre-season that gave the Cowboys a 21-3 lead..
The Cowboys got the ball back again, just hanging on to a punt that was muffed by Patrick Crayton. On the next play though, Sam Hurd fumbled a completed pass by Tony Romo that was recovered by Nick Ferguson at the Dallas 28. The ‘Boys 1st team defense once again toughened up and held Denver to only a field goal to cut the lead to 21-6.
Dallas kicker Nick Folk was able to nail a 52 yard field goal with just 25 seconds left in the 1st half to give the Cowboys a 24-6 lead heading into halftime after Tony Romo executed a nice 30 yard two minute drill.
Tony Romo wasn’t nearly as accurate against the Broncos as he was against the Colts, but still had a solid performance. He completed 11 of 18 passes for 122 yards with one INT.
"I thought it was good tonight," Romo said. "We moved the ball pretty good. I thought we put a lot of points on the board in the first half and that was good to see. You have to give Denver credit, too. They have a really good secondary. They’re going to be a good team this year. You can see that."
Marion Barber had 11 carries for 57 yards to go with 2 TD’s while Julius Jones carried the ball 9 times for 31 yards with a TD. Overall, the Cowboys had a great night running the ball, accumulating 190 yards. The Broncos only rushed for 35 for the whole game. The Cowboys had 368 total yards in offense compared to the Broncos 269 yards.
"I think we gave another good effort," Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips said in his post-game press conference. "In the first half, I thought our offensive line and defensive line, at key times, made some good plays. They asserted themselves a little bit. We held a really good running team (to) not much rushing yards. I was a little worried about that."
Although the Cowboys 1st team receivers didn’t score a touchdown, they still made their presence felt. Patrick Crayton had 3 receptions for 61 yards while Sam Hurd had 3 receptions for 36 yards. Terrell Owens had 1 reception for 12 yards and even had a rush for 9 yards on a reverse play.
The ‘Boys converted 6 of 7 3rd downs in the first half and were 10 or 16 converting 3rd downs for the game. The Cowboys 1st team didn’t commit any penalties in the 1st half, but the 2nd and 3rd teams committed 6 for 71 yards.
Jay Culter didn’t have a very good night, completing only 7 of 13 passes for 58 yards. Patrick Ramsey did a much better job leading the Denver offense in the 2nd half, completing 11 of 21 passes for 178 yards with 2 TD’s and 1 INT.
Ramsey threw a 90 yard strike to Brian Clark to make it 24-13 and a 15 yard pass to former Cowboy Quincy Morgan to make it 31-20, but it wasn’t enough.
Rookie WR Isaiah Stanback caught his 1st touchdown at the NFL level when Brad Johnson made a great thread the needle pass to him towards the corner of the end zone. That made it 31-13 Cowboys at the time. The final score was 31-20 Dallas.
"Overall, I look at the things we did well tonight," Phillips said. "I’m looking at the individuals and how they played. But as a team, it’s early in preseason. But as a team, we played well overall."
Brad Johnson completed 6 of 9 passes for 56 yards and 1 TD.
Cowboys CB Terence Newman didn’t play tonight due to a bruised right heel. Dallas also lost TE Anthony Fasano due to a sprained right shoulder.
After the Cowboys 31-20 win over the Broncos, they head down to Reliant Stadium next Saturday to take on the Houston Texans (1-1). The Denver Broncos return home to Invesco Field to battle the Cleveland Browns (1-1) the same day.
I hope everyone enjoyed the game. The defense was stellar and the offense was able to march down the field once again. Bobby Carpenter picked one off too. I’m liking the way that things are going. Go Cowboys!!!