Dallas’s Week 5 Game Plan vs. Denver Broncos
At Bleacher Report, I posted some DOs and DON’Ts for Dallas in Week 5:
DO be ready for the pass early.
The Broncos pass the ball early and often, but they particularly like to air it out on first down early on.
That graph is really telling of the game plans for both Dallas and Denver. While the Cowboys try to maintain first down balance early on, the Broncos realize that their biggest advantage comes through beating defenses with the pass.
DON’T blitz Manning.
The Cowboys will obviously need to mix up their looks against Manning, but in general, it might be best not to blitz him.
For one, it’s unlikely that Dallas is going to be able to fool the quarterback on a consistent basis. Last year, Manning totaled a 102.2 passer rating against the blitz. This year, he has posted a mark of 141.3.
The second reason to not blitz Manning is related to shortening the game. The Cowboys need to minimize the total number of drives the Broncos have, and blitzing probably won’t help that. If Manning is going to score his points anyway, you might as well make sure it takes him a while to do it.