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The Takeaway: The Broncos can run the football

Pat Shurmur just has to trust his offense to get the job done.

Surprise! The Denver Broncos win over the Dallas Cowboys may have come as a shock, but it was a welcome one.

While most of Broncos Country was still on a journey through the stages of grief over the Von Miller trade, the process hit fast forward in Texas. Jerry’s World was the remedy, and while it might never get to a true point of acceptance, the sting of the Miller trade was lessened by a big win.

To keep the theme of surprises rolling, the takeaway from this game was how effective the offense can be in the running attack. The effectiveness isn’t the surprise. The fact that Pat Shurmur stuck with the run is.

In recent weeks one of the biggest complaints about the offense has been Shurmur’s inability to utilize the run. Even when Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon were averaging 5 and 6 yards per carry, the offense seemed to ignore the run game. Not against the Cowboys.

The Broncos rushed the ball 41 times for 190 yards total. Williams had 111 of those yards on 17 carries. Melvin Gordon contributed with 80 yards on 21 carries. The combination worked to pound the Cowboys into submission.

Williams eclipsed the 100 yard mark for the first time in his career. He also continued his stretch of highlight reel runs that remind everyone how special he can be. Gordon just continued to be a consistent. He controls the game on the ground, and the two of them are the perfect combination.

With the running attack imposing its will, Teddy Bridgewater was able to take advantage through the air, too. He and Tim Patrick connected on the long 44-yard TD pass in the 2nd quarter. While Bridgewater and Patrick made the splash plays, Jerry Jeudy played the roll of possession receiver. He continues to look like Teddy’s favorite target.

Offensively, the Broncos had their best performance of the season. It came on the road against a team that is viewed by many as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. And while the offense had a breakout performance, the defense just did what they have done for most of the year.

Heading into the game, the Cowboys had the league’s 3rd best scoring offense. The Broncos had the defense that had given up the second most points per game. Admittedly, I thought this would swing the other direction, but Vic Fangio had his defense ready.

Dak Prescott and the Dallas offense were stymied until garbage time. The Broncos held the Cowboys scoreless until midway through the 4th quarter. It was a huge showing for a unit that many thought would collapse after the Von Miller trade.

The Broncos got a huge win. They had some luck. The Cowboys blocked a punt, but it ended up as a first down for Denver because of a couple lucky bounces. The Cowboys failed to score early when they were stopped on 4th down even though they could have kicked field goals.

That’s not to take anything away from the Broncos. However, the football gods haven’t been so kind recently. Not only was Denver able to play one of their best games of the season, but they also had some of their luckiest moments.

And then there is the feeling at the end. As a fan, it was a little hard to know how to feel. Obviously, a win is alway better than a loss. Still, as Ian and I discussed on the MHR Radio Podcast, we have been here as fans before. So, what to make of this outcome?

For now, nothing more than an enjoyable Broncos victory Sunday. We can worry about the rest of it all later.