By: Mark Lane

Broncos

Cowboys at Broncos

SERIES FACTS (11)

The Cowboys are 1-0 for the 38th time in franchise history. 25 of those 37 previous teams made the playoffs.

The Broncos are 1-0 for the 38th time in franchise history. 19 of those previous 37 teams made the playoffs.

Since 1990, when playoff formats were last tinkered with, 220/415 teams that started 1-0 made the playoffs.

This is the 12th time the Cowboys will play an AFC team in the second game of the season. Dallas is currently 6-5.

This is the 19th time the Broncos will play an NFC team in the second game of the season. They are 9-7-1.

This is the first time since 2008 the Cowboys will play two teams to start the season who had winning records the year before.

The Cowboys are 1-2 against the Broncos in September:
1980 – @DEN, 21-40 – L
1995 – DEN, 31-21 – W
1998 – @DEN, 23-42 – L

Dallas is 37-20 in Week 2 games with a 10-5 mark in late afternoon match-ups.

Denver is 35-19-2 in Week 2 games with a 26-7-1 mark in late afternoon games.

The Cowboys are 2-4 against the Broncos on the road. Here is the breakdown by venue:
Mile High Stadium: 2-3
Sports Authority Field: 0-1

The last match-up between these two teams combined for 99 points in a 51-48 Broncos win. The 99 points are tied for the fourth-most combined in a single game since 1940.

DAK PRESCOTT FACTS (10)

Prescott is making his first start against the Broncos. Here is how other Cowboys quarterbacks fared:
1973 – Roger Staubach – W
1980 – Danny White – L
1986 – Steve Pelluer – L
1992 – Troy Aikman – W
2001 – Ryan Leaf – L
2005 – Drew Bledsoe – L
2009 – Tony Romo – L

A win Sunday will improve Prescott’s consecutive winning streak against the AFC to five. White has the longest such streak at seven games, and Romo and Aikman each have a streak of six games.

A win Sunday would join Prescott with Don Meredith, Craig Morton, Staubach, White, Aikman, and Romo as the only Cowboys quarterbacks to start the season 2-0.

On the road, Prescott averages two sacks. The Cowboys were 7-1 in 2016 when Prescott was sacked twice or more.

3/4 of Prescott’s interceptions came on the road in 2016.

Prescott has a 102.6 passer rating in the second half compared to a 104.3 first half passer rating.

Dez Bryant is Prescott’s most targeted receiver with 107 targets. Tight end Jason Witten is second with 103, and receiver Cole Beasley is third with 101.

On third down, Prescott has targeted Beasley the most with 32 targets. Bryant is second with 26 and Witten is third with 24.

In the fourth quarter and overtime, Beasley remains Prescott’s most targeted receiver with 34 targets. Bryant is a close second with 31, and Witten is a distant third with 24.

Prescott’s 8.0 yards per carry against the Giants last week is tied for the fourth-best single game total in his career.

TREVOR SIEMIAN FACTS (11)

Siemian is making his first start against the Cowboys. Here is how other Broncos quarterbacks fared in their first starts against Dallas:
1973 – Charley Johnson – L
1977 – Craig Penrose – L
1977 – Craig Morton – L
1980 – Matt Robinson – W
1986 – John Elway – W
1992 – Tommy Maddox – L
2001 – Brian Griese – W
2005 – Jake Plummer – W
2009 – Kyle Orton – W
2013 – Peyton Manning – W

Siemian is the 45th starting quarterback for the Broncos.

A win Sunday will tie Siemian with Steve Tensi for the 11th-most wins in Broncos history.

Drafted in the seventh round by Denver, Siemian joined Randy Dean and Otto Graham as the only quarterbacks drafted out of Northwestern.

With a 9-6 mark, Siemian trails Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston (15-17) and Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota (11-17) for the most wins by quarterbacks in the 2015 draft class.

Siemian trails Ryan Fitzpatrick (46-69-1) and Matt Cassel (36-44) for the most wins by a seventh-round quarterback since 2002.

Siemian has a career 91.8 passer rating on third down, the 10th-best since 2016 among quarterbacks with a minimum of 130 attempts.

Siemian is tied with Tom Brady and Mariota for the fourth-most touchdowns on third down since 2016 among quarterbacks with a minimum of 130 attempts.

Siemian’s 7.4 yards per attempt on third down are 12th-most since 2016 among quarterbacks with a minimum of 130 attempts.

Siemian’s three fourth quarter comebacks are tied with John McCormick, Gary Kubiak, and Brian Griese for the 10th-most in Broncos history.

Since 2016, Siemian has been sacked 12 times on first down, the seventh-most in that span.

EZEKIEL ELLIOTT FACTS (10)

With 1,735 rushing yards, Elliott has the third-most yards through the first 17 career games, trailing only Eric Dickerson’s 1,946 and George Rogers’ 1,739.

Among running backs who gained at least 1,500 yards through their first 17 career games, Elliott’s 5.01 yards per carry is fourth-best behind Adrian Peterson (5.55), Clinton Portis (5.48), and Barry Sanders (5.14).

Elliott is tied with eight other players for the most 100-yard rushing games through the first 16 career games with seven. If he rushes for 100 yards against Denver, Arizona, the Rams, and Green Bay, he will surpass Edgerrin James for the most (10) through the first 20 games to start a career.

While Elliott has had more 100-yard games on artificial turf with six compared to three on grass, he has a better yards per carry on grass (5.26) than on an artificial surface (4.97).

Elliott’s five receptions last week against the Giants were the most in his career.

Elliott’s 29 touches were tied for the third-most in a single game in his career.

Elliott’s 4.33 yards per carry against New York last week was actually the fifth-lowest total of his career.

The lowest rushing yard total Elliott gained on the road was 83 in Washington on Sept. 18, 2016 when he carried the ball 21 times for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Elliott has not scored a touchdown, playoffs included, since the Cowboys’ 42-21 win over Detroit on Dec. 26 when Elliott rushed for two. This ties the longest such streak in his career.

Last season against the AFC, Elliott rushed for 100 yards twice in contests against Cincinnati (134) and Pittsburgh (114).

VON MILLER FACTS (10)

Since 2011, only Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has had more sacks than Von Miller’s 73.5 with 76.0.

32 of Miller’s 73.5 sacks have come on third down.

30 of Miller’s 73.5 sacks have also come in the fourth quarter.

Six of Miller’s 20 career forced fumbles have come in the fourth quarter.

Aside from 2013 when Miller served a six-game suspension to start the season, Miller has never played the first two games without registering at least one sack.

Miller is tied with Hall-of-Famer Yale Lary for the second-most All Pro selections by a Texas A&M Aggie with three. The most is held by punter Shane Lechler with six.

Miller has sacked a total of 15 quarterbacks from the NFC a total of 21 takedowns.

Miller has sacked no quarterback more than Philip Rivers with 13.

Miller is 1/43 draft picks taken within the first two selections to be a defensive player. 25/43 were Pro Bowlers, 20/43 made All Pro, and 8/43 made it to the Hall of Fame.

Miller, a DeSoto native, has never played his hometown team since being drafted in 2011. It will be the 29th NFL team he has faced to date with the Giants and Eagles remaining.

JASON GARRETT FACTS (10)

Garrett is 19-18 in late afternoon games.

Garrett is 0-2 in the Mountain Time Zone.

In initial road games, Garrett is 4-2 and on a two-game winning streak.

Last year, Garrett went 4-0 against the AFC North, his second time to sweep the AFC complement of games in a season. Only Tom Landry has more such sweeps with four (1970-72, 1981).

Garrett is 16-9 against the AFC with an 8-5 record on the road.

Garrett’s 16-9 record against the AFC is the best in the NFC East since Week 10, 2010:
Philadelphia: 15-10
NY Giants: 14-11
Washington: 11-14-1

Garrett is 0-1 against the Broncos. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:
Tom Landry: 3-2
Jimmy Johnson: 1-0
Barry Switzer: 1-0
Chan Gailey: 0-1
Dave Campo: 0-1
Bill Parcells: 0-1
Wade Phillips: 0-1
Jason Garrett: 0-1

Garrett is currently 20-20 without Tony Romo under center.

Garrett is 7-9 against rookie head coaches with a 6-4 record on the road.

Garrett is 23-13 against quarterbacks who have never been to the playoffs with a 13-7 on the road.

VANCE JOSEPH FACTS (10)

With a win over the Chargers Monday night, Joseph joined Frank Filchock, Lou Saban, John Ralston, Red Miller, Dan Reeves, Wade Phillips, Mike Shanahan, Josh McDaniels, and Gary Kubiak as the only Broncos head coaches to win their first game with the team.

A win Sunday would join Joseph with McDaniels, Phillips, Miller, Filchock, and Jack Faulkner as the only Broncos head coaches to start their tenure with a two-game winning streak.

Joseph will join John Fox and Miller as the only first-time Denver head coaches to coach two straight home games to start their tenure.

A win over the Cowboys would join Joseph with Reeves, McDaniels, and Fox as the only Denver head coaches to defeat Dallas in their first meeting.

The Broncos managed a 24-21 win over the Chargers and forced a turnover and sacked Philip Rivers once. As the Dolphins defensive coordinator in 2016, Joseph’s unit 10/16 times recorded at least a sack and a takeaway throughout the season.

Joseph is the 16th head coach in Broncos history, meaning an average head coach’s tenure is 3.6 seasons.

Joseph is the 11th rookie head coach in Broncos history.

Joseph is just the fourth Broncos head coach to come from a defensive background. The other three are John Fox, Wade Phillips, and Ray Malavasi.

The only other time Joseph coached against the Cowboys was as San Francisco’s defensive backs coach on Nov. 23, 2008. Receiver Terrell Owens caught seven passes for 213 yards and a touchdown.

Joseph is an alumnus of Archbishop Shaw High School in Marrero, Louisiana, where former Pittsburgh and Washington safety Ryan Clark also attended high school.

BROADCAST FACTS (8)

FOX will be broadcasting a game from the series for the third time. Here is the breakdown of the series by network:
CBS: 8
FOX: 2
NBC: 2

This is the first time Denver will have Joe Buck and Troy Aikman since Oct. 5, 2014 when Denver beat the Arizona Cardinals 41-20.

The Cowboys are 123-114 all-time on FOX.

The Broncos are 29-10 all-time on FOX.

The Cowboys are 33-36 when Buck calls their games.

Denver is 6-3 when Buck calls their games.

Dallas is 38-42 when Aikman calls their games.

The Broncos are 8-1 when Aikman calls their games.


BRAD ALLEN FACTS (10)


This week’s referee is Brad Allen. The Cowboys are 1-2 with Allen. Here are the results:
2015 – @NO, 20-26 – L-OT
2015 – @GB, 7-28 – L
2016 – @GB, 30-16 – W


The Cowboys have had fewer penalties than the opposition 2/3 times with Allen:
2015 – NO: 8/64; DAL: 6/30
2015 – GB: 8/69; DAL: 6/30
2016 – GB: 5/23; DAL: 7/60


Allen was one of seven referees in Week 1 whose crew did not officiate a home team win:
Walt Anderson: 1.000
Carl Cheffers: 1.000
John Hussey: 1.000
Terry McAulay: 1.000
John Parry: 1.000
Gene Steratore: 1.000
Ron Torbert: 1.000
Brad Allen: .000
Walt Coleman: .000
Clete Blakeman: .000
Jerome Boger: .000
Tony Corrente: .000
Jeff Triplette: .000
Bill Vinovich: .000
Craig Wrolstad: .000
Ed Hochuli: N/A
Pete Morelli: N/A


Allen was one of nine referees whose crew called fewer penalties on home teams in Week 1:
Brad Allen: 1.000
Clete Blakeman: 1.000
Carl Cheffers: 1.000
Gene Steratore: 1.000
Jeff Triplette: 1.000
Bill Vinovich: 1.000
Craig Wrolstad: 1.000
Walt Coleman: 1.000
Tony Corrente: 1.000
Jerome Boger: .500
Walt Anderson: .000
John Hussey: .000
Terry McAulay: .000
John Parry: .000
Ron Torbert: .000
Ed Hochuli: N/A
Pete Morelli: N/A


Last week, Allen was tied with Walt Coleman and Jeff Triplette for the fourth-most in Week 1:
Corrente: 10
Wrolstad: 8
Parry: 7
Allen: 6
Coleman: 6
Triplette: 6
Vinovich: 6
McAulay: 5
Torbert : 5
Blakeman: 4
Cheffers: 4
Boger: 3
Hussey : 3
Anderson: 2
Steratore: 2
Hochuli: N/A
Morelli : N/A


Allen called only one offensive holding penalty in Week 1, the second-fewest among active referees:
Coleman: 7
Hussey : 5
Wrolstad 5
Torbert: 4
Anderson: 4
Vinovich: 4
Cheffers: 4
Triplette: 3
Corrente: 3
Steratore: 3
Parry: 2
Blakeman: 2
McAulay: 1
Allen: 1
Boger: 0
Hochuli: N/A
Morelli: N/A


The Broncos are 2-1 with Allen:
2014 – @NYJ, 31-17 – W
2015 – Colts, 24-27 – L
2016 – Raiders, 24-6 – W


Denver is 1/3 in having fewer penalties than the opposition under Allen:
2014 – NYJ: 2/9; DEN: 11/101
2015 – Colts: 4/30; DEN: 8/56
2016 – Raiders: 13/125; DEN: 5/43

The Cowboys have yet to challenge one of Allen’s calls and neither has Replay Assistant. But opponents are 1/1.

Denver is 0/1 when challenging Allen while opponents are 1/2. Replay assistant is 0/1 with that lone call benefiting the Broncos.


MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (10)

Since switching to a 3-4 defense in 2015, the Broncos have allowed only three 100-yard rushers with Latavius Murray being the last with Oakland on Nov. 6, 2016 when he gained 114 and three touchdowns on 20 carries.

Since 2015, only the Carolina Panthers can match the Broncos’ 95 sacks for most sacks in that span.

Since 2015, the Broncos have recorded 55 takeaways, the fifth-most in that time.

Last week the Cowboys recorded a takeaway, making it two straight seasons Dallas has opened the season with a takeaway. The last time this happened was from 2011-13.

Since 2015, the Broncos have had seven 100-yard rushing games with C.J. Anderson having done it three times, most recently on Oct. 24, 2016 versus Houston in a 27-6 win.

The last time the Cowboys gave up 100 yards to a single rusher was Jan. 3, 2016 when Alfred Morris gained 100 yards on 19 carries for Washington.

The last time a Cowboys running back caught five passes or more was Jan. 3, 2016 when Darren McFadden caught five for 53 yards in a 34-23 loss to Washington.

The Cowboys are 5-2 on Sept. 17. Here are the results:

1961 – PIT, 27-24 – W
1967 – @CLE, 21-14 – W
1972 – PHI, 28-6 – W
1978 – @Rams, 14-27 – L
1989 – @ATL, 21-27 – L
1995 – @MIN, 23-17 – W-OT
2006 – WAS, 27-10 – W

The Broncos are on Sept. 17. Here are the results:

1967 – @MIA, 21-35 – L
1972 – OTI, 30-17 – W
1978 – Chargers, 27-14 – W
1990 – KC, 24-23 – W
1995 – WAS, 38-31 – W
2000 – @Raiders, 33-24 – W
2006 – KC, 9-6 – W-OT

The Cowboys have three birthdays to celebrate on Sept. 17:

Derek Ware, TE, 1996 – 9/17/1967
Tim Seder, K, 2000-01 – 9/17/1974
Akin Ayodele, LB, 2006-07 – 9/17/1979