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Final thoughts on Dallas vs. Broncos

It feels great to win, doesn’t it?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

As it has been these last few years, the Bronco game against Dallas wasn’t ever close. Sure, there are plenty of fans who will hold up their hand and protest that it’s only preseason—and just the lowly first one at that. However, a win is a win and when it’s against perennially overrated Dem Boys, it’s always nice to celebrate.

Since the NFL expanded the regular season and cut the preseason by one game, the first preseason game has grown in importance, but is still largely regarded as one of the hardest to watch of the year. That said, there were a few standouts that Broncos Country has already taken notice of.

Offensively, quarterback Josh Johnson took his time to get going, but once things began to click, he spread the ball around. Without his 16/23 attempts, 172-yards, and 2-touchdowns that generated his 120.2 passer rating, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see the firepower stashed within the crowded Broncos receiving corps. Seth Williams, Brandon Johnson, Kendall Hinton, and Jalen Virgil all turned in performances to get them noticed not just as possible Tim Patrick replacements, but also by other teams in the league. Limited roster spots and excellent play could make these next couple preseason games just that much more interesting.

Defensively, the Broncos had the Cowboys hogtied for most of the game. There has been a ton of talk about Baron Browning’s bend around the edge being reminiscent of Von Miller’s. Purists among us in Broncos Country have been quick to caution against that sort of comparison, but, by the looks of things on Saturday, they needn’t worry. As Scotty Payne said in Winners and Losers following the game:

Browning flashed his speed, athleticism, strength, versatility, and Von Miller-like bend in this game. He was disruptive and looks like someone who could be a potential starter for the Broncos at some point this upcoming season.

Damarri Mathis’ presence proved disruptive enough to contribute to P.J. Locke’s interception. Could those turnovers that have been so elusive for Denver’s defense these last few years be making their triumphant return to the Mile High City?

Lastly, special teams were fun to watch. Montrell Washington appears to be as advertised. With returns of 18 and 27-yards, the big play potential is certainly there. If given the opportunity, there is no doubt in my mind that he will exploit it to the fullest extent he is able.

Who knew the old adage, “that’s why they play the games” would be so apt when it came to the punting battle between Sam Martin and Corliss Waitman? While Waitman has wowed in camp, Martin outperformed him on Saturday, averaging 50.5-yards a punt to Waitman’s 37.5-yards per punt.

When the Broncos win 17-7, it’s nice. When it’s against the Dallas Cowboys, it’s absolutely delicious. Who cares if it’s preseason? With 13 of the preseason behind Broncos Country, it’s now time to turn attention toward the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. The preseason is underway! Let’s ride.

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