IRVING, Texas - With one of the best quarterbacks of all-time coming to AT&T Stadium this week, football analyst Bryan Broaddus addresses the many concerns in facing Peyton Manning and his Denver offense. Broaddus also breaks down the Broncos' other weapons and discusses the way the Cowboys can win this game.
Other than Peyton Manning what Broncos player is most dangerous?
With Von Miller serving his suspension, you take him out of the mix. It would be easy to say Wes Welker for what he has done through four games since coming over from the Patriots. Trindon Holliday can take a punt or kick and score from any point on the field or Demaryius Thomas but the guy I feel like is the most dangerous, is Eric Decker.
When I sat down Monday night to begin studying the Broncos on offense, Decker was one of those players that was always getting the ball thrown in his direction and making plays. He is not the most dangerous because of his speed or quickness but where he hurts you the most is his ability to make a catch no matter where the ball is thrown. [embedded_ad]
He is one of the best bad ball catchers I have ever seen. There are times where Manning just pushes it in his direction and he makes the catch. He is a crafty route runner and will find ways to get open despite of how slow he appears to be moving. There is not one area of the field where Decker is better than the other. He has the ability to hurt you at all levels. Manning has complete confidence in all these Broncos receivers but when he needed a big play or a tough catch, the direction of the ball went toward Eric Decker and he would deliver.
How do you play Peyton Manning?
It all starts with Peyton Manning and how he manages the game. He is the ultimate chess player. His ability to read defenses and understand what they are trying to do to him, makes him rare. There are smart quarterbacks in this league, but it's one thing to be smart but can you take advantage of being smart by making all the throws, and that is what you have in Manning.
What I have learned over the years in watching him play, you have to have two game plans for him. I learned this from Bill Belichick years ago. Belichick would never show Manning his best stuff early in the game. He would show him three and four man fronts, an extra blitzer from the weak side or a different coverage but Belichick always wanted to keep Manning guessing in what he was trying to do. The idea of the plan was not to show Manning any consistent looks, then in the fourth quarter, he would run a scheme or two with a different coverage that would throw Manning off.
Throughout his coaching career, Bill Belichick probably has had the most success of playing against Peyton Manning than any other coach in this league. There are not many schemes that Manning has not seen in his career but if you run the same scheme over and over, you make it very easy for him to function and that is a problem.
Do you feel like this is a winnable game?
Despite the way the Broncos have started the season, I really do believe the Cowboys can win this game. I have been in this league too long and seen too many games where the situation looked bad or impossible and a team finds away played their best game. The Broncos have had plenty go right this season and they deserve to be in the position they are currently in but there is a saying in this league about any given Sunday.
There is no question that Peyton Manning is playing at a high level but so is Tony Romo. As long as he is taking snaps, this team has a chance, just take a look back to Philip Rivers and what quarterback play can do for a team that might be undermanned. There is enough talent on this team to give the Broncos problems of their own.
With that being said, it's going to have to be a collective effort. Poor coaching decisions, dropping the ball on 3rd down or not playing your technique in the defensive scheme cannot happen if the Cowboys are going to win this game. To be the best, you have to play your best. Are the Cowboys capable of playing their best game against the Broncos? Without a doubt they are, but them talking about it should not be the focus, them actually doing it should be, that is how they are going to win this game.