The good people in Las Vegas already have the Denver Broncos as 7-point favorites against the Dallas Cowboys in their "showdown" at JerryWorld on Sunday. That seems a bit low ...
Broncos QB Peyton Manning may not be much for the playoffs, but this is his time - early in the regular season. He is in the midst of the greatest start in the history of quarterbacks. He is completing an absurd 75 percent of his passes for 1,470 yards with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions. The way he and his receivers are playing right now he is pretty much indefensible. He is on pace to throw for 763,234 yards with 334 touchdowns and no interceptions ... those stats may or may not be accurate.
Don't you worry your pretty little selves, Cowboys fans, they've got the defense to ... pretty much get destroyed when the 2nd Manning boy visits. The Cowboys just gave up over 400 yards passing to Philip Rivers, and rank 28th overall in the NFL against the pass.Perhaps, as former Cowboys coach Wade Phillips used to say, these are just baseball stats.
Manning is the guy to fix what ails the Cowboys defense.
Now for the crazy part - Manning is a mortal 2-2 against the Cowboys with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions, all while he was with the Indianapolis Colts. He has not defeated the Cowboys since 2002.
The last time he played the Cowboys was December of 2010 when then interim head coach Jason Garrett scored his biggest win - a highly improbable 38-35 overtime victory in Indianapolis. The Cowboys quarterback that day was Jon Kitna, and their leading rusher was Tashard Choice.
The only time Manning visited North Texas to play a professional football game on the football field in the National Football League was November 19, 2006. The Cowboys coach was Bill Parcells.
The Colts were 9-0, and Tony Romo was the new big thing in the NFL. The Cowboys pretty much handled the second half for a 21-14 win. On the field after the game, Manning told Romo, "You're a good player."
I interviewed Parcells about this game for my award-winning* book about the history of Texas Stadium - "Texas Stadium: America's Home Field" (btw - an incredible book) and he told me, "That really wasn't that hard." His point was, his Cowboys had become a more physically dominant team against the finesse Colts.
Of course, the Colts later went on to win the Super Bowl that season.
Here is a look at Manning vs. The Cowboys
Oct. 31, 1999: Cowboys at Colts
Colts W 34-24.
Manning 22-34, 313 yds, 1 TD, 0 int.
Nov. 17, 2002: Cowboys at Colts
Colts W 20-3
Manning 29-38, 252 yds, 2 TD, 1 int.
Nov. 19, 2006: Colts at Cowboys
Manning 20-39, 254 yds, 2 TD, 2 int.
December 5, 2010: Cowboys at Colts
Cowboys 38-35 (ot)
Manning 36-48, 365 yds, 2 TD, 4 int.
Bottom line: The Cowboys got this.
( * - when I say award winning, I mean that book did not win a single award )
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