The season is underway and the Dallas Cowboys will be traveling to Denver for their second game against the Denver Broncos. Here are a couple of roadblocks the Cowboys are facing while in the mile high city.
This week, corner back Orlando Scandrick was placed on the injured reserve with a hand injury that he underwent surgery for on Monday. Look for rookie Chidobe Awuzie to step in to fill his spot. Also making his NFL debut this week is corner back Jourdan Lewis who was absent the first game with a hamstring injury. On Wednesday this week, veteran wide receiver Terrance Williams missed practice with a hurt ankle he received during Sunday’s game and is listed as questionable for the Denver game. Williams has not missed a game during his five year career and I expect that he will not miss this Sunday’s game. The Cowboys may turn to Brice Butler to step in more since Williams is not 100%. Also listed as questionable is safety Byron Jones who is battling a groin injury. The three year veteran also has never missed a game. Look for Kavon Frazier to fill in if Jones doesn’t play.
The Broncos have an impressive defense that is going to test the Cowboys. It’s important for them to try and shut down our running game and force us to pass. I can guarantee that the seven year veteran and five time pro-bowler Von Miller will have his sights set on Ezekiel Elliot. Broncos cornerbacks Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby, and Chris Harris contribute to a strong pass defense that will for sure keep Dez Bryant and fellow wide receivers on their toes. For the Cowboys to be successful, we’re going to have to run the ball and control the clock like we do best.
There’s a reason the Broncos’ stadium is named Mile High Stadium. Being a mile above sea level means that the air is thinner and therefore, there is less oxygen readily available. What does this mean for the Cowboys? Increased risk of dehydration and fatigue. When asked this week on the high altitude, coach Jason Garrett said
“We’ll certainly watch our players, how they handle it…[Make] sure we have guys who are confident to go in the ball game and execute if something happens to any of our guys in terms of dealing with it.”
There’s not much you can do to prepare except possibly conditioning harder and making sure the players are kept well hydrated during the game. When Texas native Von Miller (who played at Desoto HS and Texas A&M) was asked how he’s acclimated to the higher altitude, his response was “I’m still trying to get used to it”.