Broncos' 42-17 crushing of Cowboys shows they're back
Where so many others saw a Super Bowl favorite in Dallas' swaggering offense with its all-star linemen and pair of backfield superstars, Denver's defense envisioned a chance to show everybody that the Broncos are back.
They did just that in a 42-17 crushing of the Cowboys .
They held Ezekiel Elliott to a career-worst 8 yards on nine carries — 43 yards fewer than his previous low — and forced Dak Prescott to throw a career-high 50 times while also putting a dozen hits on Dallas' second-year QB, a beating that left Jerry Jones complimenting the Broncos (2-0) for being everything he thought his Cowboys (1-1) were.
It included Aqib Talib's 103-yard interception return for a touchdown , an interception by Chris Harris Jr., two sacks plus five more QB hits by Von Miller, two TD catches by Emmanuel Sanders , 154 scrimmage yards and two TDs from C.J. Anderson and a career high-tying four touchdown throws by Trevor Siemian.
Elliott's less-than-a-yard average was the exclamation point.
"He had nine carries for 8 yards? Wow. Damn, that's crazy," linebacker Brandon Marshall said. "We are the best defense in the NFL. I don't know how many times we have to say it. I saw the picks on the NFL Network, everyone picked the Cowboys. Everyone thinks Dak is this and Zeke is that. They are good players, don't get me wrong.
"But I take it as the same thing as when we played in the Super Bowl" two years ago, added Marshall, whose block of Prescott guided Talib into the zone on his pick-6. "Everyone picked the Panthers because of their offense. But neither team had ever faced a defense like this. There is no defense in the NFL like this."
He has no argument from the Cowboys.
"I want to emphasize today, this is not what we're about in my view," Jones said. "I feel strongly about that. On the other hand, this is what Denver is about."
There are several other topics fans are buzzing about after Dallas lost its sixth straight to Denver and failed to become the first NFC team with 100 wins against the AFC:
VAUNTED VON: Miller ended his career-worst five-game sackless streak in a big way with a pair of sacks, five quarterback hits (not counting the two times he was flagged for jumping offside), two tackles for loss and a pass breakup.
"Sacks are good. You just can't be worried about that type of stuff," Miller said. "You can't really put all your focus on that. My focus has always been on being a dominant football player and being a dominant defensive player."
FLAILING FOWLER: Bennie Fowler nearly had his third touchdown catch of the season but when he tumbled out of bounds just shy of the pylon he landed on his neck and head. Then, when he got up and tried to run back to the bench, he stumbled twice and couldn't gain his bearings. He was diagnosed with a concussion and didn't return.
GARETT BOLLES: The Broncos first-round draft pick will go for an MRI on Monday after X-rays were negative on his injured left leg.