Consensus line (Play book.com): Cowboys by 11⁄
Prediction: Denver still has plenty of formidable pieces left from its Peyton Manning-led Super Bowl days. Unfortunately, Manning isn’t one of them. The offense sagged to 27th in the league in 2016, and the defense, while one of the best in the NFL, had serious issues against the
run in 2016. That’s problematic this week because running the ball is what Dallas does best, despite its uptick in passing against the New York Giants in the first game. If Ezekiel Elliott plays, the Cowboys could mix the pass and run but ride him to enough points and then to clock-eating drives to overpower the Broncos.
uSTART: Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas. Thomas’ hamstring is better and the big physical wideout is the type of threat that the Cowboys secondary can’t handle. If Trevor Siemian can get Thomas the ball, he’s due for 100-plus yards.
uSIT: Talk about a tough run of opponents. After getting two receptions against a stiff Giants secondary, Bryant draws Denver’s dominant pass defense. It’s far-fetched to think he’ll right the ship.