Streak: Lost 1
All-time vs. Denver: 4-6-0
Last time: Cowboys 10 at Broncos 17 (10/04/09)
The Line: Broncos by 7
America's Team, meet America's Quarterback. Two of the nation's favorite and most well-represented teams clash in the country's biggest NFL stadium in Week 5 as the 4-0 Denver Broncos travel to face the 2-2 Dallas Cowboys. Both teams are tops in their respective divisions, and both teams are working through high expectations heading into the season's second quarter. The Cowboys are middle-of-the-pack statistically on both sides of the ball, while the Broncos are setting NFL scoring records to go along with the league's #1 rush defense. That being said, this is a high-profile matchup, and the environment at newly re-minted AT&T Stadium will be a hostile one for the orange and blue. Kickoff is set for 3:25 p.m. CDT (2:25 Denver time) this Sunday, October 6th.
QB Tony Romo. Romo isn't putting up Peyton Manning or Drew Brees-like numbers, but he is taking care of the football. He has eight touchdowns to only one interception on the season, along with a completion percentage over 70% for each game, and his quarterback rating has been over 90 every game this season (over 100 in two of them). Romo had two touchdowns in the Cowboys' Week 4 loss, both to wide receiver Dez Bryant, who figures to be a focal point of Denver's defensive gameplan.
Cowboys defense. Everything went wrong for the Cowboys in the second half last week. The offense couldn't put together a drive without fumbling at the two-yard line, and the defense had no answer for San Diego's keepaway offense. Against the Chargers in Week 4, Dallas managed 317 yards on offense, but surrendered a whopping 506 yards to San Diego. The Cowboys also lost badly in the time of possession battle - they had the ball 25:57 to 34:03 for San Diego, which had a commanding 11:37 to 3:23 time of possession advantage in the third quarter. San Diego kept the Cowboys off the field with long offensive drives, shutting out Dallas in the second half.
Matchup to Watch
QB Peyton Manning vs. def. coordinator Monte Kiffin's Tampa Two. Peyton Manning knows this defense. He spent seven years in Indianapolis with Tony Dungy, who worked with Monte Kiffin as co-godfathers to the "Tampa" Cover Two. The Dallas Cowboys are one of the few teams in the NFL to use this defensive look that was all the rage just a half decade ago, and it will be Kiffin's task to present Manning with something he has never seen before. After seven years on the same sideline, can Dallas' defensive coordinator pull a new card out of his hat?
Stick around Mile High Report all week long for Film Studies, statistical analyses, and many more in-depth looks at Denver's Week 5 opponent, the Dallas Cowboys!