A masterful offensive game-plan was central to their success, so too it seems the Cowboys’ decision to routinely attempt fourth-down conversions. While the Broncos have had their fair share of attempts this season, their offense was insulted by Dallas’ bold decisions. It’s fair to say it fanned the flames on Denver’s sideline.
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Bridgewater & Simmons Punish ‘Boys
The Broncos’ usually mild-mannered quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was no exception to the frustration, outlining how he felt about the Cowboys’ back-to-back fourth-down attempts.
“You take the field with a little anger, honestly,” Teddy Bridgewater told Denver reporters after the win. “It’s like, ‘Hey, man, they’re going for it because they’re saying our offense is not going to score or something.’ We talked about it in the huddle, and we used it as motivation. I think the first drive didn’t go as well and the second drive. It’s one of those deals where you take the field and have a little added motivation to it. You could see that today.”
Dallas failed to convert a fourth down on their opening drive — thanks to an incredible stop by safety Justin Simmons. It wasn’t long before they failed again — on their succeeding possession — with Dak Prescott overthrowing a receiver.
Patrick made sure to get his own back on Dallas, hauling in four receptions totaling 85 yards and a touchdown. His most eye-catching play — a 44-yard touchdown reception from Bridgewater — gave the Broncos a 13-0 lead and a commanding position early on in the ball game.
Simmons: Urgency Key to Broncos’ Big Win
All-Pro safety Justin Simmons spoke of the necessity for instant change and positive action regularly last week. Those characteristics were needed early and often in Arlington, with Dallas’ inability to thwart the Broncos’ defense proving critical.
“Like I said last week, urgency and energy,” Simmons said postgame. “Their offense is one of the top offenses, I think the top offense in terms of scoring. If I remember correctly, we are second to last in terms of starting fast. Another emphasis this week was, we gotta start fast. When we are put out on the field, we have to start fast and give our offense some momentum.
“Both times when we had those fourth downs, you know they happen fast, but we say, this is the game. That is the mindset you have to have. I’m just proud of our guys and the way they fought today. The energy, the perseverance to work through different situations. It was a great team win.”
Pundits and Broncos Country alike were shocked about the boil over in Jerry World, but not Simmons, nor his team. The high-achieving defensive back believes this is just the start and to a degree, how the Broncos should be measured.
“None of us in the locker room were surprised by how we came out and executed,” he said.
“That is the standard. That is what we expect out of each other. We will come in tomorrow, watch the film, after that, it doesn’t matter what you did the week before. It is on to the Eagles and you have to find a way to win that game.
Follow Patrick Djordjevic on Twitter: @Patdjordjevic