The Dallas Cowboys could not keep the winning momentum going as they fell to the Denver Broncos 42-17 regressing in many areas and losing players to injury in the process.
The Cowboys did not get off to a good start as the Broncos would strike first as quarterback Trevor Siemian hit wide receiver Emmanual Sanders for a 10-yard touchdown pass to cap off a 10 play 78-yard drive. Following a Cowboys put the Broncos would go on another strong drive but could not capitalize on it as kicker Brandon McManus would miss a 49-yard field goal to keep the Broncos lead at 7-0.
A one-hour weather delay helped the Cowboys defense as they came out with a bang as defensive end Demarcus Lawerence strip-sacked Siemian to force a turnover giving the Cowboys the ball at the Broncos three-yard line. The Cowboys would quickly take advantage as quarterback Dak Prescott would hit wide receiver Dez Bryant for a touchdown tying the game at 7-7. Lawerence would make his presence felt again on the following drive as his second sack of the game resulted in a Broncos field goal attempt that was nullified by an unsportsmanlike penalty against Lawerence. The Broncos would get the first down and two plays later found themselves in the end zone as Siemian hit running back CJ Anderson for a sixteen-yard touchdown to take a 14-7 lead.
Following another Cowboys punt, the Broncos would put seven more points on the board as Siemian would find Sanders again for a six-yard touchdown to put the Broncos up 21-7. Dan Bailey would nail a 56-yard field goal to make it a 21-10 game at the half. The Cowboys only mustered 5 first downs and just 97 yards of total offense in the first half compared to the Broncos 18 first downs and 246 total yards of offense including 4-7 on third down conversions.
The Broncos would start the second half off the same way they did the in the first as Siemian would find tight end Virgil Green for a two-yard touchdown pass to cap off a drive that took 7:04 off the clock to take a commanding 28-10 lead. The touchdown pass made Siemian the first quarterback to throw four or more touchdowns against the Cowboys since Matt Flynn did it for the Packers back in December of 2013. The Broncos defense would not be outdone as cornerback Chris Harris picked off Prescott after the ball bounced off of Bryant’s hands and into his returning it to the Cowboys 22 yard line. Two plays later Anderson would take it in from 23 yards increasing the Broncos lead to 35-10. Anderson became the first player to run for over a 100 yards against the Cowboys since Alfred Morris did it as a member of the Washington Redskins back in January of 2016.
The Cowboys defense would respond as rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis recorded his first career interception and returned it to the Broncos 40-yard line to end the third quarter. The Cowboys would capitalize on the turnover at the start of the fourth as Prescott would hit tight end Jason Witten for a 28-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead down to 35-17. The Broncos would put the nail in the coffin as cornerback Aqib Talib picked off Prescott and ran it back 103 yards for a touchdown giving them a 42-17 lead with 53 seconds left in the game to secure the win.
The Cowboys were outplayed in every statistical category. Running back Ezekiel Elliot was held to just eight yards rushing on nine carries and finished with just 22 yards of offense. They were outgained 380-268, out first downed 28-16 and only converted 3-14 third downs. The usually stout offensive line surrendered two sacks and paved the way for just 40 rushing yards. The defense took a beating but also lost cornerbacks Nolen Carroll and Chidobe Awuzie to injuries. Prescott finished the day with 238 yards passing going 30-50 with two touchdowns and two interceptions and despite the sacks was the leading rusher with just 24 yards. Witten led the Cowboys in receptions and receiving yardage hauling in 10 catches for 97 yards and one touchdown while Bryant snagged seven catches for 59 yards and one score. Cornerback Anthony Brown and linebacker Sean Lee led the with seven tackles.
The Cowboys will look to get back on track as they travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals next Sunday.