Broncos News Blogs - Wednesday, Nov. 23

The excitement is building for Thursday's marquee matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Dallas Cowboys. Read about it in today's news reports.

Defense running into big change - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
11/23/2005 - The Broncos' run defense this season essentially has consisted of running to finish plays after opponents have passed the ball. Game plans against Denver have been one-dimensional, the byproduct of an 8-2 start and Denver holding double-figure leads in its past eight games. It has been bombs away for opponents, especially as teams have tried to play catch-up in the second half. Opponents have thrown the ball 394 times against Denver compared with 198 rushing attempts.

Parcells practices no player pity - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
11/23/2005 - Listen here, cowboy. Don't be fooled by that big, soft belly of irascible NFL coach Bill Parcells. He kicks harder than a steel-toed boot. Don't mess with Texas? You'd be crazier to pick a fight with Parcells, who messes with everybody. He has earned the reputation for treating all players in the Dallas locker room the same - like gum on the bottom of his boot. "It's not like the Bataan Death March around here," said Parcells, although he doesn't deny riding the Cowboys hard. For Parcells, the path to football success is more like a trail of tears. Check your feelings at the door.

Team can soar only if it stays grounded - Denver Post - Domonique Foxworth
11/23/2005 - Every cloud has a silver lining is a popular thing to say to someone who may be down on his luck. It is a cliché reserved for those who might need a reminder of the positive things in life. However, there is no such saying for the opposite scenario, the times when everything is going well and you need to remain grounded. Thanks to a mature, veteran team, there was no need for such a saying this past week.

Bell, Elam ready to take on Dallas - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
11/23/2005 - Running back Tatum Bell and kicker Jason Elam - the Broncos' most significantly banged-up players in this short work week - have positive holiday messages as they try to recover in time to play a Thanksgiving game against the Dallas Cowboys in Irving, Texas. "I'm playing, don't worry about it," Bell said Tuesday. "I'm definitely playing." Added Elam: "I'm already feeling better. ... I'll definitely be ready Thursday." Both players took part in practice Tuesday, the 8-2 team's most significant practice before Thursday's game.

Bell, Elam ready to take on Dallas - Denver Post - Mike Klis
11/23/2005 - There's the guy who said it. Over there. Keyshawn Johnson. The Dallas Cowboys' well- hyped, short-yardage receiver was explaining why he thought the Broncos were either the best or second-best team in the NFL, along with the undefeated Indianapolis Colts.

Star is reborn - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 23, 2005 - The Dallas Cowboys don't get it. In all the talk about their quarterback - about Drew Bledsoe's career resurrection, that he's a new man, a Comeback Player of the Year candidate - the Cowboys have kind of shrugged their shoulders. They say Bledsoe never was gone. "I find it kind of weird," Cowboys receiver Keyshawn Johnson said. "He wasn't hurt, why would you be Comeback Player of the Year?" But after losing his job of eight years as starting quarterback of the New England Patriots when coach Bill Belichick chose Tom Brady, after arriving to parades and pep bands in Buffalo in 2002 only to be sent on his way after three seasons so the Bills could play J.P. Losman, Bledsoe has turned back the clock.

Dayne set as backup plan - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 23, 2005 - The one thing Ron Dayne can all but count on Thursday is he'll be on the Denver Broncos' game-day roster because coach Mike Shanahan already has said that should be the case. Other than that, the running back's role can range from insurance policy to contributor, given the health status of Tatum Bell, who suffered a bruised chest Sunday during a 27-0 victory against the New York Jets. Carries have been at a premium for Dayne this season.

Ball control is prized possession - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 23, 2005 - There hasn't been much time for video prep work because of the short week. So if the Denver Broncos want to condense the process, they could turn to NFL Films and just pop in a highlight tape of Super Bowl XXV. During that game, a Bill Parcells-coached New York Giants team kept possession of the ball for 40 minutes, 33 seconds. The Giants ran and, if that didn't work, ran some more against the Buffalo Bills. Parcells has grayed some since 1991, and he now coaches one of the Giants' rivals in the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys. But his mind-set hasn't changed. Dallas (7-3) leads the league this season in average time of possession at 33:16 a game. The main reason is a repeated commitment to handing off the ball.

Lincicome: Broncos, Cowboys are probably thrilled that their quarterbacks aren't exciting - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
November 23, 2005 - Dull is what wins, not to change Thanksgiving's teams to the Dullus Cowboys and the Denver Bores. The success of both teams this season meets at an identical point, the quarterback. This is usual and expected, since quarterback is the most vital single position in sports. It is not, however, because Jake Plummer and Drew Bledsoe have become more special at what they do. It is because they have become less. By less I mean routine, unexciting, monotonous, competent but not thrilling, careful but not clever. Plummer has had a game this year of 92 yards passing. Denver won. Bledsoe has had a game of 110 yards. Dallas won. The pair of them are to fantasy football what a Rottweiler is to a meter reader. Last Sunday, neither Plummer nor Bledsoe threw a touchdown pass. Both Denver and Dallas won.

Mutual respect the name of the game - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 23, 2005 — Keyshawn Johnson is known as much for running his mouth as running into the end zone, which can be helpful for reporters and annoying for coaches and teammates. During a Tuesday afternoon teleconference, the Cowboys wide receiver was asked where Dallas' next opponent — the 8-2 Denver Broncos — ranks in the league hierarchy. "I think they're probably the first- or second-best team in the NFL," Johnson said without hesitation. "Probably the Indianapolis Colts (are first), depending on where the Broncos would play. If they're playing in Denver I would give them the edge. If they're playing in Indy then I would give Indy the edge." The Broncos currently have the second-best record in the AFC behind the Colts (10-0). The top two seeds in the conference would have a bye in the first-round of the playoffs.

Plummer will face familiar foe in Cowboys - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 23, 2005 — While the Denver Broncos were en route to winning a second consecutive Super Bowl in 1998, Jake Plummer was also making some postseason history for Arizona. Plummer guided the Cardinals to their first playoff win in 51 seasons — a 21-7 upset of the Cowboys in the wild-card round at Texas Stadium. Neither the Snake or the Broncos have won a playoff game since the 1998 season. On Thursday they return to Texas Stadium together for a Thanksgiving Day game against Dallas.

Broncos' Anderson quietly enjoys a return to rookie form - Mercury News - Arnie Stapleton
Wed, Nov. 23, 2005 - Unlike Clinton Portis and Terrell Davis, there's nothing flashy about Denver Broncos workhorse running back Mike Anderson - on or off the field. The sixth-year pro is quietly enjoying his best season since he burst onto the NFL scene as the league's offensive Rookie of the Year in 2000. "For me, it's coming out and continue doing what I've been doing: Get the running game established, get it going and sustain it," Anderson said after he did just that with a 113-yard, three-touchdown performance against the New York Jets on Sunday. Anderson's best game of the season allowed the Broncos to play both keepaway and takeaway in their 27-0 shutout. The Broncos held a nearly 25-minute edge in time of possession, keeping Denver's defense fresh enough to force four turnovers and record the team's first shutout in eight years.

Former Browns have Broncos playing well - Canton Repository - Eddie Pells, AP
Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - The Mastermind must have been off his rocker, or so the thinking went. Feeling he was only a step away from becoming a Super Bowl contender, Mike Shanahan brought in four linemen from a bad defense in Cleveland in an attempt to close the gap. The Denver Broncos traded Reuben Droughns for Michael Myers, Ebenezer Ekuban and a fourth-round draft pick for Gerard Warren. They signed talented but injury-riddled Courtney Brown as a free agent. Those were, by and large, the most ridiculed transactions of the entire NFL offseason. But with the Broncos at 8-2 and the new linemen dominating, very few are laughing now.

Coleman relishes role as his time remains limited - Longmont Daily Times-Call - Pat Graham
11/23/2005 — There are no garbage sacks. That's the feeling of Denver Broncos defensive lineman Marco Coleman. So what if New York quarterback Vinny Testaverde tripped, curled up in a ball and all Coleman had to do was touch him Sunday. It still goes down as a sack. "You take them how ever they come," Coleman said of his fourth-quarter sack. Yet fellow defensive lineman and locker-room neighbor Ebenezer Ekuban smells conspiracy. "I think he paid Vinny," Ekuban surmised. "I think they got together and Marco said, ‘Hey, Vinny, hook me up.' They came into the league about the same year so they have that brotherhood."

Quality Game Enhances Dallas-Denver Match - - Jaime Aron, AP
Wed Nov 23 - IRVING, Texas - As a lifelong Cowboys fan who happens to be a rookie cornerback for the Broncos, Darrent Williams has been looking forward to the Thanksgiving game between Dallas and Denver for months. Now, everyone else who follows the league also has reason to be excited about it. Thursday's game is far more than a holiday afternoon showcase for two proud franchises. It's one of the best matchups of the weekend and the only one featuring an elite AFC team against a top NFC club. "It doesn't get much better than this right now," Cowboys defensive tackle La'Roi Glover said. "Both teams have a short week, both are playing pretty solid football — what more can you ask for?" The Broncos (8-2) have won three straight and need to keep piling up the victories to have a chance of snatching home-field advantage in the playoffs from the undefeated Indianapolis Colts.

Two-Stepping Back to Dallas - Denver - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - It was mid-September 2004, and Michael Myers was back in a place where he spent many workdays over his first six years out of school. Back in Texas Stadium, the famed hole-in-the-roof edifice that is as recognizable as the star logo of the team that calls it home. But he wasn't headed to the part of the building he knew best. The Dallas Cowboys' locker room was not his destination. The visitors' locker room was, as he, fellow ex-Cowboy Ebenezer Ekuban and his their then-teammates with the Cleveland Browns began preparing for a Sunday afternoon showdown. The visiting locker room was practically the only part of the stadium unfamiliar to Myers. And why wouldn't it be? Until that day, he had no reason to venture there at all.

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