Cowboys vs. Broncos score: Denver ends Dallas' six-game winning streak with blowout road win

ARLINGTON, Texas -- This didn't end how the Dallas Cowboys thought it would en route to being victims of a rout, losing 30-16 to the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium (it was not actually this close, I assure you). Entering with a 6-1 record after narrowly escaping with a victory against the Minnesota Vikings engineered by Cooper Rush and the Cowboys band of cornerstone players, it's likely Dallas believed themselves invincible. 

What they failed to remember is the other team gets paid too, and they found that out the hard way on Nov. 7.

Dak Prescott played poorly in his first game since the thrilling overtime victory against the New England Patriots in Week 6, and his performance was made worse by drops from Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, as well as one from Tony Pollard that stalled an early drive in one of the rare instances when the Cowboys offense was moving down the field. In the end, the Broncos broke out the whooping stick against the Cowboys, who were humbled in a way they haven't been in a very long time. 

Why the Broncos won

They wanted it, and not simply "more," but period. There was nothing about this game that indicated the Cowboys were ready for victory, but everything implied the Broncos were. After being bullied on their first two offensive drives, they adjusted and mostly held the Cowboys pass rush hostage for the remainder of the game. It wasn't a perfect game for Denver, and there was a questionable decision or two (field goal on the Cowboys nine-yard line with a chance to put the game away?), but even their errors were made irrelevant by Dallas' ineptitude.

By the time the Broncos were awarded a first down on a blocked punt by the Cowboys, you knew it was a day wherein Murphy's Law was in Denver's favor. That play alone was a microcosm for what the Cowboys put on film in Week 9 -- namely their worst game of the season that was fueled by a mix of poor execution, bad luck and a Broncos defense dying to prove themselves against one of the best offenses in the league, and without future Hall of Fame linebacker Von Miller to help them.

Bridgewater wasn't done either, tossing more big gainers en route to giving the Broncos a 27-0 lead early in the fourth quarter, a massive deficit that the Cowboys showed themselves incapable of even remotely fighting back against with only 11 minutes left to play in regulation. The Broncos achieved their mission of stunning the NFL, and. the Cowboys are left to choke down a gargantuan portion of humble pie as they reload for Week 10. 

Why the Cowboys lost

After driving down the field fairly easily on the first two possessions of the game, the Cowboys opening drive aided largely by a 54-yard kick return from Tony Pollard, Dak Prescott and Co. passed on field goal attempts deep in the Denver Broncos territory and instead went for it on fourth-and-1 on their first two possessions -- coming up with no points. Teddy Bridgewater, after being bullied early, found his groove and a 44-yard touchdown to Tim Patrick gave them a double-digit lead.

It appeared the Cowboys offense had awoken on the drive to follow, but a critical drop by Pollard ultimately caused them to stall, in a game where Dallas is having a hard time getting going in the first half. And that's on both sides of the ball, with the Cowboys allowing the Broncos to essentially have their way on third down while not seeing the favor returned to Prescott.

Things didn't get any better for the Cowboys to start the second half. 

After forcing Bridgewater into a quick three-and-out deep in Broncos territory, wide receiver Malik Turner blocked a punt. That should be a good thing, right? The problem was it was ruled contacted by the Cowboys before the line of scrimmage which made it a live ball, so when the Broncos recovered it, they were awarded possession and a new set of downs. It all finished going downhill from there, and the worst outing of Prescott's career (he wasn't the only one with this designation on Sunday) devolved into an absolute shellacking at the hands of the Broncos.

Turning point

You could argue it was over before this point, but this interception on Prescott closed the coffin for good.

Play of the Game

Tim Patrick had himself a day, and this touchdown gave the Broncos a 13-0 lead of which they never looked back from.

Pass the sticks

"The Cowboys accidentally turned the difficulty up to All-Madden, and were not ready for what awaited them." - Or Moyal of The Athletic 

What's next

The Cowboys try to recover from their serving of humble pie and host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 10, while the Broncos head home to play host to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Check out the live blog for anything you might've missed from AT&T Stadium!

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Season Leaders

passing
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T. Bridgewater3052 YD, 18 TDS, 7 INTS
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T. Bridgewater3052 YD, 18 TDS, 7 INTS
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D. Prescott4449 YD, 37 TDS, 10 INTS
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D. Prescott4449 YD, 37 TDS, 10 INTS
rushing
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M. Gordon203 ATT, 918 YD, 8 TDS
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M. Gordon203 ATT, 918 YD, 8 TDS
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E. Elliott237 ATT, 1002 YD, 10 TDS
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E. Elliott237 ATT, 1002 YD, 10 TDS
receiving
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C. Sutton58 REC, 776 YD, 2 TDS
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C. Sutton58 REC, 776 YD, 2 TDS
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C. Lamb79 REC, 1102 YD, 6 TDS
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C. Lamb79 REC, 1102 YD, 6 TDS
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@dallascowboys via Twitter
November 7, 2021, 8:48 PM
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@dallascowboys via Twitter
November 7, 2021, 8:47 PM
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@Broncos via Twitter
November 7, 2021, 8:24 PM
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@dallascowboys via Twitter
November 7, 2021, 8:23 PM
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@Broncos via Twitter
November 7, 2021, 8:05 PM
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FG missed by the Broncos. They're letting the Cowboys hang around but Dallas isn't doing anything about it (yet?).

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Broncos settle for a FG there on fourth-and-1 at the Cowboys nine yard line. That's a decision to monitor. 

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@dallascowboys via Twitter
November 7, 2021, 7:50 PM
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@Broncos via Twitter
November 7, 2021, 7:47 PM
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Someone should inform the Cowboys this is tackle and not two-hand touch.

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