Dallas Cowboys @ Denver Broncos: it's men against 'Boys at Mile High

Head over heels: inexperienced Trevor Siemian toughed it out in Week 1, but could be sent tumbling by Dallas
Head over heels: inexperienced Trevor Siemian toughed it out in Week 1, but could be sent tumbling by Dallas

Romilly Evans previews another attractive late-night game, where he expects a relentless Dallas to make light work of some spooked Broncos in Denver...


"Most running backs would look good behind Dallas' offensive line, arguably the biggest and best in the league"

Dallas Cowboys @ Denver Broncos
Start-time: Sunday, 21:25
TV: Live on SS1


The Denver Broncos and Mile High favourtism go together like Butch and Sundance in recent history. However, as we all know, the path of true BFFs seldom runs smoothly, especially in the NFL's Wild West. And their home record should be shot down in a blaze of glory on Sunday night when the Dallas Cowboys ride into town.

Granted, Denver have not lost to Dallas since 1995, and there's a reason why so many teams struggle in the altitude of the Rockies, especially in the early regular season. It's a rarefied air one has to be taught to breathe.

Luckily, the Boys' dynamic duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are fast learners. Elliott picked up where he left off last season in the opening weekend, moving the chains against Big Blue with effortless ease. His continued presence is vital to Dallas' Super Bowl push this term (his legal team appear to be kicking his six-match suspension for domestic violence deep into 2018), but most running backs would look good behind this offensive line, arguably the biggest and best in the league.

Dallas' offensive juggernaut also affords Prescott the time to learn on the job, and make up for the inevitable mistakes which can cloud the mind of a young but skilled quarterback. Although he was comparatively subdued in Week One, expect Prescott to open up his expansive gameplan tonight, firing deep downfield strikes to Dez Bryant (who has forged a career winning one-one-one battles on the outside) or slice 'n' dicing the Denver secondary via Cole Beasley, presently the finest slot receiver around.

While both these wide men can create separation, they will be tested by Denver's doughty D, led by some rapier cornerbacks under Aqib Talib. This match-up (corners versus wideouts) could decide the game. However, if they only have a mutually-cancelling effect (cue a litany of "irresistible force meets immoveable object" analogies) then the aforementioned Elliott should prove a game-changer. In short, he can run on any defense, and for all their defensive might, the Broncos only ranked 28th against the rush last year.

On the other side of the ball, Trevor Siemian bids to ride the hot hand he displayed against the LA Chargers. The Denver QB certainly put a dent in his detractors' diatribes. Yet one swallow does not a summer make, and we should never be quick to draw any conclusions from sample-of-one performances. So the jury remains out on Siemian, and Dallas' susceptible defense will not deliver a definitive judgement here. That said, the Cowboys' D did step up against the New York Giants (with special mention going to defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence), so perhaps this won't be the end-to-end-zone scoring fest some are predicting.

Instead, look to Prescott and Elliott to control the clock and silence the Mile High faithful. Road favourites are hardly a rocksteady proposition in the long term, but over 20 years of hurt should come to a grinding halt tonight for Dallas. Back them with confidence to cover a few handicaps, including in the first-half for which they should receive the kick-off. Bryant can also show off his towering talents by pouching the pigskin for the first touchdown.


Recommended Bets

Back Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) to win on the Match Points Spread @ 1.9720/21 or better
Back Dallas Cowboys (-1.5) to win on the First Half Handicap @ 1.9110/11 or better
Back Under 43 Total Points @ 1.9420/21 or better
Back D. Bryant to score First / Anytime Touchdown 9.08/1 / 2.56/4 or better


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