Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Kyle Orton threw for 243 yards and a pair of
touchdowns on 20-of-29 efficiency, and the Denver defense produced a stellar
goal-line stand in the waning seconds as the Broncos edged the Dallas Cowboys,
17-10, in Week 4 action.
Brandon Marshall totaled 91 yards on four grabs and had the go-ahead 51-yard
score with 1:46 remaining in the game for the Broncos (4-0). They also got a
TD catch from Knowshon Moreno, who totaled 65 yards on 14 carries.
"That's what you do against a good football team. You're going to have to
stand in there and take their best and then come back and throw one of your
own," said Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. "We tried to do that and made one
more play than they did."
The Denver defense recorded five sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in
Dallas QB Tony Romo tallied 255 yards on 25-of-42 passing with an interception
and, for the first time in his career, was held without a touchdown pass for
the second consecutive game.
Marion Barber added 41 yards and a score on 11 touches for the Cowboys (2-2),
who got 62 yards on three grabs from Sam Hurd. Nick Folk hit a 49-yard field
goal for Dallas, which totaled just 74 yards on the ground.
Leading by three in the fourth quarter, Dallas started at its own 20-yard
line. Marred by an offensive holding call on a 17-yard run by Tashard Choice,
the drive stalled and the Broncos got the ball back with 9:35 showing on the
Marshall had a 16-yard catch-and-run on first down to get to the Denver 41.
Two plays later, Orton hit Eddie Royal for a 12-yard gain and on the play
Jay Ratliff was called for roughing the passer, which put the ball at the
Dallas 27. The Broncos failed to penetrate the goal line and settled for a
game-tying, 28-yard field goal from Matt Prater with about six minutes left.
The Cowboys punted on their next touch, and Denver then started at its own 27.
Three plays into the drive, Marshall caught a ball about 15 yards downfield
and cut towards midfield. As he got to the hash marks, he cut back towards the
right sideline and dashed 51 yards into the end zone to give the Broncos a
17-10 lead with 1:46 showing on the clock.
"It was just a big play and I'm glad we took advantage of it," said Marshall.
"As soon as I caught it I thought I had a chance to score, but my big body
wasn't fast enough so I had to make some cuts to get to the end zone."
The ensuing possession saw the Cowboys faced with a 4th-and-three from their
own 27. Romo, with a ton of time in the backfield, hit Hurd for a 53-yard
gain before calling a timeout with 59 ticks left. A seven-yard toss to Choice
followed and Hurd added a five-yard gain to make it 1st-and-goal from the
eight with 27 seconds left.
"We just didn't seem in-sync enough in the second half," said Cowboys coach
Wade Phillips, who served as Denver's head coach for two seasons (1993-94) and
faced his one-time employer for the first time as a head man. "For whatever
reason when we were backed up and needed to make plays at the end of the ball
game we made them all the way to the one-yard line."
Patrick Crayton then had a six-yard catch before Romo spiked the ball with
nine seconds left. Romo's pass to Hurd in the middle of the end zone was
incomplete, and on 4th-and-goal Hurd had the potential game-tying pass broken
up by Champ Bailey.
"We've practiced that situation all the way going back to the spring," said
McDaniels of the goal-line stand. "Our guys kind of knew the call without even
telling them what it was. Champ didn't need to go back to the huddle. He knew
what it was going to be and did a nice job of denying the ball there."
The Cowboys drew first blood, 3-0, as Folk hit a 49-yard field goal with about
six minutes remaining in the opening stanza.
Following a three-and-out, Dallas embarked on an eight-play, 61-yard drive
that was capped as Barber punched in a one-yard TD.
Moreno's nine-yard TD catch, on the next play following a Cowboys fumble,
closed it to 10-7 for the home team, which held up through the half.
Neither team accumulated any points in the third, and the game headed to the
fourth with Dallas still on top, 10-7.
Orton is 25-12 as a starter...The Broncos outgained Dallas 337-315...The
Broncos have a 6-4 edge in their all-time regular season series with the
Cowboys. Dallas was a 42-23 loser when it last visited Denver in 1998, and is
0-4 against Denver overall since beating the Broncos at home in 1995. The
Cowboys last won in Denver in 1992. In addition to the regular season series,
the teams have met once in the postseason, with the Cowboys earning a 27-10
win over the Broncos in Super Bowl XII from New Orleans...The Cowboys have
still won eight of the past 12 against the AFC.
10/04 22:16:14 ET
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