The Cowboys defense was caught off guard by the amount of crowd noise Thursday night.
It was more than they had gotten used to in practice, and it made it more difficult to communicate, linebacker DeMarcus Ware said.
“There’s a lot of checks in our defense, and we’ve got to figure out how to communicate better when the crowd is loud,” he said. “In practice, there’s no crowd, so we know everything. We know what’s going on. But when there’s no hand signals and you can’t hear what people are saying? Everybody’s on the same page, but you just want to reiterate on the fact that this is the right play that we’re running.”
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan didn’t mention the crowd noise. But he said the Cowboys missed a coverage on the 26-yard pass play that the Broncos used to convert their first third down on the opening drive.
“We didn’t blitz much tonight, obviously, but we did have the one dialed up, and it was ready to go,” Ryan said. “We just kind of missed the coverage behind it. It ended up being a big play against us. Then, they had a run on a check that we missed. So it was a big run there and got it down to our goal line.”
The Cowboys forced a field goal, which pleased Ryan, of course.
“We’ve got to be great down there,” he said. “We can’t give up touchdowns.”
-- Carlos Mendez