Denver Upsets Dallas as Dak Prescott Struggles

Denver Upsets Dallas

This week brought plenty of upsets around the NFL, including Denver beating Dallas 30-16 as quarterback and MVP candidate Dak Prescott struggles. The Dallas Cowboys struggled to move the ball both on the ground and through the air, while the Denver Broncos had their way with the Dallas defense. Dallas suffered a let-down in every facet of the game and was outmatched from their first possession on.

Denver Upsets Dallas as Dak Prescott Struggles

Bridgewater and the Broncos Offense Gets it Going Early

Dallas came out of the gate on a good note with a kickoff return into Broncos territory by Tony Pollard. Dallas would then fall behind quickly. Teddy Bridgewater and the rushing attack led the Broncos offense down the field for three scores against Dallas stretching the lead to 16-0 by halftime.

The Dallas Offense Stymied

Dallas struggled to move the ball, failing to score in the first half. The third quarter was worse as Dak Prescott threw an interception and saw the Broncos stretch the lead to 27-0. Both Broncos running backs had big games. Javonte Williams rushed 17 times for 111 yards while Melvin Gordon III rushed 21 times for 80 yards and found the endzone.

Dallas also struggled to stop the pass giving up 85 yards to Tim Patrick, plus a 44-yard score, and 69 yards to Jerry Jeudy. The Dallas defense has played above expectation each week, picked to be one of the worst NFL defenses in the preseason. This comes as a surprise as the Broncos have struggled to move the ball offensively, and the Cowboys have been great on the defensive side of the ball.

Prescott’s Worst Game in Recent History

Prescott had a terrible day at the office going 19/39 for 232 yards. Dak Prescott registered the majority of his passing yards, and both of his touchdowns, during garbage time after the game was out of reach. The Cowboys quarterback found Malik Turner twice late in the 4th quarter to pad his atrocious stat line and make the game 30-16.

This was Prescott’s worst performance in years. The veteran from Mississippi State University had been fantastic before his season-ending injury last year, and in every game this year until now. Prescott struggled largely in part due to Denver’s pass rush. Prescott was flushed from the pocket regularly and had to make many of his throws under duress or on the run.

Denver’s Defense Shines

The Broncos pass defense stymied the Cowboys today by defending passes and getting pressure on the quarterback. Denver hit Prescott five times, sacking the Cowboys quarterback twice. Denver also defended seven passes and recorded four tackles for loss. This defensive performance was unexpected as the Broncos just traded their superstar pass rusher, Von Miller, at the trade deadline.

Dallas leaned on the defense today and failed to stop the Broncos. Gordon and Williams combined for 190 yards and kept the ball out of the hands of this high-octane offense. The Cowboys fell into a trap game from the beginning. The Broncos dominated the entire game as well as time-of-possession 41:12 to 18:48.

Bulletin Board Material

The Broncos executed their game plan flawlessly against Dallas. Prior to the game, Vic Fangio reported the Broncos would sell out to stop the run and make Prescott and the passing attack beat them. This plan worked, holding Dallas scoreless until late into the 4th quarter. With the toughest part of the schedule upcoming, teams could use this blueprint to slow down one of the NFL’s best offenses. What should have been bulletin material to motivate Dallas turned into a bad day for the Cowboys and fans alike.

Blueprint Out on Dallas?

Denver upsets Dallas in week nine. Denver sold out to stop the run, forcing Prescott and the receivers to win one-on-one. This formula seemed to stifle the Cowboys. Look for NFL defenses to adopt a similar mindset and game plan against Dallas in the future. If Dallas wants to close out the NFC East and make a deep playoff run, they will have to play better on both sides of the ball moving forward.

Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images

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