clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Shaquil Barrett could be key to the Broncos defense stopping the Cowboys

New, comments

Barrett caught up with The Afternoon Drive on Friday to talk about the key matchup in Sunday’s game.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If there was ambivalence over his effectiveness, Shaquil Barrett threw it on a trash heap and set it ablaze.

The fourth-year linebacker for the Denver Broncos was remarkable against the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night. What makes his performance even better is he missed all of training camp and the preseason. You could see why people had questions as to how well he may play in the opener.

Pro Football Focus had him as the second-highest graded member of the Broncos, with an 84.3. As PFF said about Barrett in its story:

With edge rusher Shane Ray out injured, the Broncos turned to Barrett to pick up his slack and did he ever deliver. Barrett was even more impressive rushing the passer than his teammate Miller, racking up a sack and five additional hurries of the quarterback. His pass-rushing productivity score of 17.6 ranks third among all 3-4 outside linebackers in Week 1. He also chipped in with a solo run stop and was nearly unblockable all game long for this Broncos defense.

Denver needs a similar showing from Barrett on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. For the Broncos to improve to 2-0, Barrett and his front seven brethren have to dominate the line of scrimmage. On Friday’s The Afternoon Drive, Barrett told Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro how the defense makes that come to life.

Barrett also touched on his impressive first game. As Goodman asked, seriously, could he have played a better game?

“Yes, I still had a couple of mistakes that I don’t like out there, and it could have been potentially big,” Barrett said. “So I got to stay focused. But it was a good game, and it was definitely something that I could start off with and build on.”

Bonus Listen

Eric and Les get the inside scoop on the Cowboys from insider Mike Fisher.