Cowboys Patriots Football

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass.

Week 9 Prediction: Broncos (4-4) at Dallas Cowboys (6-1), AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, 11 a.m. Sunday

Offense

The Cowboys score a lot of points — 32 per game, third in the NFL. But Sunday is only a preview of what’s to come: six of the seven opponents left on the Broncos’ schedule feature a top-15 scoring offense. Four are in the top 10. To salvage this season the Broncos must start scoring — starting now.

Advantage: Cowboys

The Broncos beat the Cowboys 30-16. Here's how it happened.

Defense

Here’s where the Broncos ‘D’ can get the Cowboys, and it might be the only spot: the Dallas offense stinks in the red zone. Bottom third of the NFL. Strange but true. So limit the Cowboys to FGs instead of TDs. That, plus two takeaways, and the Broncos can keep this one close.

Advantage: Cowboys

Special teams

The thing about the Cowboys is they’re sound almost everywhere. Good team. That extends into the kicking game, where Greg Zuerlein’s stats don’t reflect his game. He’s missed four field goals, but two were from 50-plus. For the Broncos, a mismatched game is a good time to pull out the trick plays.

Advantage: Cowboys

Coaching

George Paton is one secretive dude. Great poker face. Jury’s out as a GM. But there was no gray area Saturday when Paton tripped to Oxford, Miss., for a matchup between Liberty QB Malik Willis and Ole Miss QB Matt Corral. Paton didn't go it alone. He took four Broncos scouts with him. Hmmm.

Advantage: Cowboys

Intangibles

Don’t take any grief from Cowboys fans, by the way. They can be an ornery bunch, no doubt about it. So when the Broncos get blown out by Dak and Zeke and the ‘Boys, remind them Denver has owned Dallas: 8-4 all-time with three straight wins in Texas. The streak ends Sunday.

Advantage: Cowboys

Klee’s prediction: Cowboys (minus-10) 33, Broncos 13 (Straight-up record: 3-4; ATS: 2-5)

(Contact Gazette sports columnist Paul Klee at paul.klee@gazette.com or on Twitter at @bypaulklee.)

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