In Week 2 of the 2017 regular season schedule for the Denver Broncos, they host the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are coming off an incredible 13-3 season with a rookie quarterback in Dak Prescott. A season where they ripped off 11 straight wins at one point.
Although they lost their first playoff game, the season was quite reminiscent of the Broncos 2012 season. Their defense is what held them back and that unit was a big priority this offseason.
Being a home game, this is a matchup the Broncos really do need to win. However, it being a non-conference game makes it less relevant than most of their other games in 2017.
All-time series: Broncos lead 7-5
Cowboys free agency
Key additions: Stephen Paea, Damontre Moore, Nolan Carroll,
Key losses: Brandon Carr, Barry Church, Morris Claiborne, Jack Crawford, Ronald Leary, Terrell McClain, and others
The Cowboys faced a brutal free agent onslaught in 2017 with 18 players heading into unrestricted free agency. They did keep their offensive line mostly in tact, losing only Ronald Leary to the Broncos, who was mostly a rotational player for them.
You would think the loss of over nine veterans from their 2016 roster will hurt, but if their offensive line remains healthy they could still be a very dangerous football team.
Cowboy 2017 draft class
Most pundits felt the Cowboys really drafted well, going so far as saying they’ve rebuilt their defense in one draft class. That may be true; in 2018 or 2019. For 2017, their defense will likely disappoint as rookies rarely come in and play at a consistently elite level.
Having lost so many veterans on defense in free agency, they will likely be forced to play their rookie draft class a lot and that is going to lead to mistakes and points given up.
Cowboys draft picks
|4||Ryan Switzer||WR||North Carolina|
|6||Xavier Woods||S||Louisiana Tech|
|6||Marquez White||CB||Florida State|
|7||Noah Brown||WR||Ohio State|
Way too early predictions
Week 2: Cowboys 23, Broncos 21
The question of this game comes down to how confident I am that the Broncos have fixed their interior run defense. The answer, in May, is yes. The caveat, in May, is that in years’ past the run defense took several weeks to start coming together.
Being this game is in Week 2, that leaves me to the conclusion that Ezekiel Elliott will have a solid game and the Cowboys will put up just enough points to put some serious pressure on whatever quarterback starts for the Broncos.
The result is a close game that the Cowboys come out on top in snapping a five-game losing streak to the Broncos stretching all the way back to 1998.
Broncos 2017 predictions
|1||Sep 11||vs. Los Angeles Chargers (MNF)||8:20 PM||Broncos 24-10|
|2||Sep 17||vs. Dallas Cowboys||2:25 PM||Cowboys 23-21|
|3||Sep 24||at Buffalo Bills||11:00 AM||Broncos 27-10|
|4||Oct 1||vs. Oakland Raiders||2:25 PM||Broncos 28-17|
|6||Oct 15||vs. New York Giants (SNF)||6:30 PM||Broncos 23-16|
|7||Oct 22||at Los Angeles Chargers||2:25 PM||Broncos 20-17|
|8||Oct 30||at Kansas City Cheifs (MNF)||6:30 PM|
|9||Nov 5||at Philadelphia Eagles||11:00 AM|
|10||Nov 12||vs. New England Patriots (SNF)||6:25 PM|
|11||Nov 19||vs. Cincinnati Bengals||2:25 PM|
|12||Nov 26||at Oakland Raiders||2:25 PM||Raiders 27-20|
|13||Dec 3||at Miami Dolphins||11:00 AM|
|14||Dec 10||vs. New York Jets||2:00 PM|
|15||Dec 14||at Indianapolis Colts (TNF)||6:25 PM|
|16||Dec 24||at Washington Redskins||11:00 AM|
|17||Dec 31||vs. Kansas City Chiefs||2:25 PM|