Defensive coordinators already knew blueprint to stop Cowboys

Charean Williams
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

The Broncos did something no other team has done in the 17 games Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have played together. (Elliott sat out the Week 17 game last season.) Denver stopped both.

Prescott threw two interceptions, and Elliott rushed for a career-low 8 yards on a career-low nine carries.

Now comes the ridiculous notion that the Broncos have provided the “blueprint” on how to stop the Cowboys, as if defensive coordinators didn’t know before Sunday.

Jason Garrett was asked about it. Prescott was asked about it. Elliott was asked about it.

“Every week people stack the box,” Elliott said. “It’s not something we’ve seen for the first time. It may have been the first time that it’s worked that successfully, but teams do that every week, so I don’t think there’s any blueprint to stopping us. I think it all comes down to how we go out there and execute.”

In beating the Cowboys twice last season, the Giants held Elliott to 51 yards on 20 carries in the season opener and limited Prescott to 165 passing yards and intercepted him twice on Dec. 11.

The Broncos were the first team to limit both in the same game. They loaded up the box with eight and nine defenders to stop the run and force Prescott to beat them.

But the Broncos have something no other team has: Two first-team All-Pro cornerbacks in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. (The Giants had two second-team selections last season.)

So as Cardinals coach Bruce Arians responded when asked if the Broncos had provided other teams with the blueprint on how to shut down the Cowboys offense, “If you can borrow Denver’s players.”

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