Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos Free Pick 10/6/13
Denver Broncos (4-0) at Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
NFL Football: Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm (AT&T Stadium)
The Line: Dallas Cowboys +7.5 -- Over/Under: 54 See the Latest Odds
The Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning head to Big D on Sunday to face off against the Dallas Cowboys at Jerry World (AT&T Stadium).
The Dallas Cowboys are once again being the Dallas Cowboys this season as Dallas is sitting at 2-2 to start the season. The Cowboys looked impressive against the Rams, especially on the ground which brought hope to Dallas fans that the Cowboys would revert back to running the ball. That thought ended on Sunday. The Cowboys are running the ball just 37.5 percent of the time this season, and to put that in perspective, Manning and the Broncos are keeping it on the ground 44 percent of the time. The Cowboys ran just 16 run plays total against the Chargers in San Diego on Sunday. Dallas was actually successful when they did run it as Murray averaged five yards per carry, picking up 70 yards on just 14 attempts. Romo threw the ball 37 times, and while he was effective, this offense needs to find some balance. Dallas looked to be in good shape at the break, leading the Chargers 21-123 thanks to a pick six by Shaun Lee and two touchdown grabs by Dez Bryant. If Dallas would have committed itself to running the ball more in the second half, perhaps they could have kept Rivers off the field some after the break. They did not, and Rivers went off, putting up 17 unanswered points on the Cowboys and getting the win over Dallas.
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The Denver Broncos in case you haven’t noticed, are good. Denver is 4-0 to start the season, and you’ve probably heard about how good of a season Manning is having this year. The Broncos are averaging 44.8 points per game on the year, and Manning has 16 touchdown passes threw for games, with no INT’s. I know the league is different than it used to be, with receivers basically running amuck in the secondary untouched, but still, you have to be impresses as to what Manning is doing. The Broncos took care of business last week against the Eagles at Mile High, defeating Vick and company 52-20 (I wonder if Kelly was confused as this is usually his score at Oregon…only reversed). Manning went 28/345 for 327 yards and four scores…once again in case you missed it above, he is good. The Broncos have all kinds of weapons offensively, but this was Demaryius Thomas’ day to shine. Thomas hauled in nine passes from Manning on the day, racking up two scores and 86 yards against the Eagle secondary. A lot has been made about Philly’s up tempo offense, but Manning and the Broncos are averaging 71 plays per game on the year as opposed to Philly, who are running just 67 per game. I am concerned about the offensive line for the Broncos, especially Manning’s blind side, which could be an issue for the Broncos on Sunday as the Cowboys have this Demarcus Ware guy, who is also good at football.
The past three seasons, the Broncos are 12-6 against the spread on the road, and in Denver’s last 20 games as a favorite; the Broncos are 14-6 ATS. The Cowboys are just 5-13 against the spread the past three seasons at home, but at home this year, the Cowboys are 2-0 against the number.
We may be watching one of the better teams we’ve seen in a while with the Broncos, but be that as it may, I have to back the Cowboys here. Denver is better top to bottom, but I am concerned that the Broncos will have trouble with the Dallas front. The Cowboys got incredible pressure on Bradford in their last game at home, and even though Manning and Bradford shouldn’t really be mentioned in the same sentence, their offensive lines could be. Peyton will do what he can to get the ball out quick, and adjust protection accordingly, but be that as it may, the Cowboys should still be able to get pressure on the Broncos signal caller. Dallas has the offensive firepower to move the ball and put up points against the Broncos, which if all else fails, could result in a backdoor cover for Dallas here.