Flying In Thin Air

The Denver Broncos receive ample attention – and rightly so – for their prolific rushing attack, which generates 168 yards a game on the ground.

But to suggest that the Broncos are a one-dimensional team, according to Dallas cornerback Aaron Glenn, would be short-sighted.

"They're playing well right now on offense," Glenn said. "(Quarterback) Jake (Plummer) is playing at a very high level, about as well as any quarterback in the NFL."

The biggest thing, Glenn said, is that the Broncos are protecting the ball.

"Right now, they're not committing any turnovers," he said, "and that's what every coach likes. (Plummer) is picking his spots well when he throws downfield. He's doing everything that I'm sure Shanahan wants him to do.

"It's going to be very challenging to get turnovers from them. We've got to fight, scrap and claw to get turnovers."

One player who earns Glenn's respect is veteran Denver wide receiver Rod Smith.

"Rod is so impressive in what he's done," Glenn said. I think he's got all their records now, and that alone is impressive and makes him someone you have to respect.

"It's not just that he's played a long time, it's the fact that he continues to compete at such a high level. That's a good thing to see. He still makes plays – what does he have, 50-some grabs (actually 52 receptions, for 666 yards and four touchdowns) this year? That lets you know he's not a guy hanging on, they want to get the ball in his hands. He looks like he's as good now as he ever was."

The other Denver passing target who Glenn said will create problems for the Dallas secondary is Ashley Lelie. Now in his fourth NFL season after being drafted out of the University of Hawaii, Lelie earned a reputation as a player who has size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) and speed but lacked discipline in his route-running and inconsistent hands. That reputation, Glenn said, no longer applies.

"He's still big and fast," Glenn said. "But now, when they throw him the ball, he catches it. They throw the ball up to him, and he's big enough and fast enough to go up and get it. He really competes for the ball. You know they're going to take their shots throwing him the ball. It's up to us to stop him.

"You can't just sit back and say Rod (Smith) is the man, because (Lelie) makes plays, and he'll make you pay."

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