NFL Week 2017 Week 2: Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos preview and prediction

The Cowboys clockwork offense goes up against the Broncos wrecking ball of a defense in a matchup of two 1-0 teams.

Dallas handled their divisional rival Giants 19-3 on Sunday night. It was a complete team effort. The offense ground out an efficient performance, with Dak Prescott throwing for 268 yards, Ezekiel Elliott running for 104, and Jason Witten catching seven passes and the game’s only touchdown. The defense never allowed New York any breathing room, holding them to just 35 rushing yards and only 233 total yards. And the special teams were boosted by Dan Bailey going four for four on field goal attempts. There was never a time when the game seemed in doubt.

The Broncos had to sweat out a win in their opener over San Diego. For much of the game, the offense moved the ball effectively, as Trevor Siemian threw for two touchdowns to Bennie Fowler and ran for another, while the defense stymied Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, and company. But the fourth quarter was another story, as two costly turnovers turned a 24-7 lead into a 24-21 nail-biter. Things got even dicier when the Chargers moved into position for the game-tying field goal, but Shelby Harris got a hand on the kick, ending the threat.

Pay some attention to us

Much of the attention directed at the Cowboys goes to their offense, which is star-studded. But their defense stepped up and gobbled up the Giants in the opener. The question: How much of that performance was a product of an improved Dallas D and how much was a product of New York missing Odell Beckham Jr. and any blocking? We’ll probably get a better idea after this contest, as the Broncos provide an offense that can move the ball on the ground and on the air.

Stopping Zeke

Early on in the Monday night game, the Broncos allowed chunks of yardage on the ground to Melvin Gordon. But they quickly stiffened and ended up holding San Diego to less than three yards a carry. Now they face the toughest run offense in the league, with the Cowboys road graders up front leading the way for Ezekiel Elliott. Making the Dallas offense one-dimensional is the goal, but it’s an awfully difficult task.

Siemian’s team

Except for some shaky moments in the fourth quarter, Trevor Siemian played one of his finest games as a Bronco starter in Week 1, looking confident as he led a balanced offense. Perhaps the fact that it’s no longer a quarterback competition in Denver made him play so free and easy. A win over a premier team like Dallas would further solidify his standing and give the Broncos confidence he can lead them to the postseason.

Cowboys OTs Tyron Smith & La’el Collins vs. Broncos OLB Von Miller

This should be a doozy. Although some Cleveland fans might give an argument for Joe Thomas, most people identify Smith as the game’s premier left tackle. Meanwhile, Miller is as ferocious as they come in attacking the quarterback. He primarily plays on the left of the defense, pitting him not against Smith but against the talented but inexperienced La’el Collins. Whoever it is that has to deal with Miller will have their hands full all day, and you suspect that even Smith will not be left one-on-one too often against a man of Miller’s talents, especially with Shane Ray out.

Fantasy football tip – Cowboys TE Jason Witten

For years people talked about the unique chemistry between Witten and Tony Romo. Well, here we are in the second year of the Dak Prescott era in Dallas, and Witten is still rolling along. He was the Cowboys most effective receiving weapon in Week 1, and he could be that again, since the Broncos corners are awfully tough to test for Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley.

Prediction: Denver Broncos 17-13 Dallas Cowboys

This will be a slow-paced game where big plays could be few and far between. The home team should sneak it out given their defensive prowess, but if they can’t slow Elliott early they could pay the price against play action.

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