A loss is a loss. No matter how you slice it, it's a loss. The numbers say that Tony Romo had the greatest day throwing the ball in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, but as he stated in his postgame interview, it was a loss. Yes, it was a loss to Peyton Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the history of the NFL, but still, this doesn't make anyone feel better about the game.
Although Denver is a very talented team on offense, on defense, without Von Miller and Champ Bailey, they might as well be the Jacksonville Jaguars. But with Manning in the shotgun, he can cure the all ills of this Broncos defense.
Manning was the difference in this game at AT&T Stadium. There is no way around it. His command of the Broncos offense and the way he executes plays is magical to watch. Seeing him live and in person is so much better than watching him on tape. He has such a feel for the situation and how to put his teammates in the best positions to make plays, which they do with frightening success.
During this game, it had to be a helpless feeling for Monte Kiffin and the Cowboys defensive staff to try and match him. No matter if Dallas tried to play man coverage or a few snaps in zone, Manning had an answer. You might get one or two opportunities for a pressure (don't even think about getting a sack), but when you get those chances, you had better make them pay off, which the Cowboys defense was unable to accomplish.
We all knew the issues the Broncos' skill players could cause. Factor in the way Manning is playing, and there were going to be some potential problems. What has to bother Kiffin and the staff, though, is the lack of plays from his defense on the ball.
Morris Claiborne's interception was well executed, but other than that, there have been too many times in the last two weeks where these corners have not even been in the same area code. Claiborne and Brandon Carr are man-to-man cornerbacks and against Denver, they had some looks in that scheme. But the Broncos receivers still made plays, which is troubling.
It's not every week that the Cowboys will face a quarterback like Manning, but there will come a point in time where this defense is going to have to put it all together and find ways to get off the field with some consistency. Otherwise, there will be more games like this one ahead and nobody wants to see that.