Denver Broncos 2013 Opponents -- A Historical Perspective: Dallas Cowboys

Ronald Martinez

Can the Broncos continue their winning ways against the Cowboys?

The Broncos' third game in franchise history against the Dallas Cowboys came on January 15, 1978 when the two teams met in Super Bowl XII. It was Denver's first trip to the Super Bowl in their first nineteen seasons. This game saw a Craig Morton-led offense and the stifling "Orange Crush" defense take on the NFC's best -- the 12-2-0 Cowboys. Sadly, the Broncos did not fare well, falling behind 10-0 after one quarter and trailing 13-3 at the half. After falling behind 20-3 in the third quarter, Denver tried to come back and made it 20-10 at the end of three quarters but could not overcome the Cowboys' lead and fell 27-10.

Denver has gone 4-1 in its last five matchup against the Cowboys. That record did not start out well. The first of those five games came on Week 2 of the 1995 season and was a 21-31 loss. After a scoreless first quarter, the Broncos fell behind 14-0 in the second. For the rest of the game, Denver would battle back only to fall behind again, trailing 7-14, 7-21, 14-21, 14-28, 14-31 and then the final 21-31.

The teams next met on three years later, on Week 2 of the 1998 season. This meeting was a part of the Broncos' second Super Bowl-winning run and part of a 13-0 start to the season. Denver struck first to take a 7-0 lead. After the Cowboys tied the game at 7-7, the Broncos jumped out to a 21-7 lead. This time, Dallas would edge closer then fall further behind, trailing 21-14, 28-14, 28-17, 35-17, 35-20, 25-23 and finally 42-23.

The second victory in this current four game winning streak came on Week 11 of the 2001 season. The teams exchanged field goals in the first quarter before the Broncos broke it open in the second on a Mike Anderson touchdown run and a Brian Griese to Dwayne Carswell touchdown pass for a 17-3 halftime lead. Denver kicker Jason Elam added two more field goals in the third quarter and one in the fourth to give the Broncos a 26-3 lead. Denver was able to hold on for the win, despite Dallas' three-touchdown fourth quarter surge. The final was 26-24.

Denver won a third straight meeting when the Broncos traveled to Dallas for a Thanksgiving Day game on Week 12 of the 2005 season. This was a closely fought game that ended up going into overtime. Denver started the scoring when Champ Bailey returned the interception of a Drew Bledsoe pass 65 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Dallas responded with a touchdown drive of their own. A Jake Plummer to Rod Smith touchdown pass in the second quarter gave the lead back to the Broncos, but the Cowboys again answered with a touchdown of their own. The score stood at 14-14 at the half. Ron Dayne gave Denver its third lead of the game in the third quarter, but Dallas scored a touchdown in the fourth to send the game into overtime. In the extra quarter, the Broncos won the coin flip and elected to receive. They started at their own 32 yard line and marched 62 yards in 2 plays -- one of which was a 55 yard run by Dayne. Jason Elam kicked the game winning field goal with 13:39 left in the overtime quarter.

The most recent meeting between the Broncos and Cowboys occurred in Denver on Week 4 of the 2009 season. This game was part of the incredible six game winning streak with which the Broncos opened the 2009 season. Denver fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter but battled back to trail by only 3 (10-7) at the half. The score remained that way until late in the fourth quarter. Denver had gotten the ball at their own 25-yard line with 9:35 left in the game. Their drive stalled out at the Dallas 10-yard line and the Broncos had to settle for a Matt Prater field goal to tie the score. After forcing the Cowboys to punt on their next possession, Denver drove 73 yards in three plays -- the final play being a 51-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Brandon Marshall -- to take a 17-10 lead. Dallas looked like it was going to respond in kind when it drove from the Cowboys' 20-yard line to the Denver 2-yard line. Tony Romo spiked the ball on 2-2-DEN2 to stop the clock. The Denver defense rose up and kept Dallas out of the end zone on the next two plays to preserve the win.

Overall, Denver is 6-4-0 in the regular season versus the Cowboys and 0-1 in the postseason. How do you like their chances in October?

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