One of the most surprising things about Week 2 of the 2017 season was the degree to which the Denver Broncos blew the Dallas Cowboys off the field. The Broncos have been one of the NFL's best defenses for years now, but even the best defenses have not been able to shut down this Dallas offense the way the Broncos did last Sunday. 

Ezekiel Elliott was held to a career-low eight rushing yards on his nine carries. Elliott said it was the first time in his life he ever ran for less than 10 yards. Dak Prescott, who finished last season fourth in the NFL in completion percentage (67.8) and yards per attempt (7.99) and third in passer rating (104.9), was held to 238 passing yards on 50 throws (4.76 per attempt) and was also picked off twice. His passer rating of 68.6 was the third-worst mark of his career. 

Naturally, there has been a bit of a groundswell behind the idea that the Broncos might have laid the blueprint for stopping the Cowboys offense. The Cowboys will look to avenge the Broncos loss next Monday against the Arizona Cardinals, who if the blueprint has been laid, would surely want to copy it. 

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, though, can be counted among those unconvinced by the idea that the blueprint exists. 

Arians, of course, is right. 

It's easy to say, "You have to completely shut down the run and force the Cowboys to throw 50 times. Then you have to just leave your corners in man coverage against the Cowboys receivers all game, while also getting pressure without resorting to the blitz. And if they manage to get completions against your coverage, you can't miss any tackles all game because you have to limit their yards after the catch." It's a lot harder to actually do it, because there's only one Von Miller, there's only one Chris Harris, one Aqib Talib, one Bradley Roby, one Brandon Marshall, one Derek Wolfe, etc. 

The Cardinals have some really good defensive players. They have Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, Chandler Jones and Deone Bucannon. With that crew and others like Robert Nkemdiche, Corey Peters, Karlo Dansby, and Markus Golden, they'll surely try to replicate a lot of what the Broncos did when they square off against the Cowboys on Monday night. But unless they can quickly build a lead like the Broncos, and unless they can consistently beat the Cowboys up front – a task that is far easier said than done, given the strength of Dallas' offensive line – they're not likely to experience quite as much success.