On a day in which quarterback Tony Romo recorded the first 500-yard game of his career, the Dallas Cowboys also became the first team since 1983 to score 48 points and lose, falling 51-48 to the Denver Broncos. The Cowboys’ passing game was absolutely on fire all day; Romo averaged 14.1 YPA, and three receivers crossed the 100-yard mark.
But in the end, Peyton Manning’s Broncos were too much. Like Romo, Manning also threw a pick in the contest. It was his first of the season, and he recorded 20 touchdowns prior to it—an NFL record for scores without an interception.
The biggest series of the game was the last one on which Denver faced a 3rd-and-1 at the Cowboys’ 2-yard line.
With just under two minutes to play, Dallas could have let Denver score a touchdown so they could get the ball back. It was a tough call, because the Cowboys also could have stopped Denver on third down and forced a field goal. The Broncos ran for a first down, but not a touchdown, allowing them to run out the clock and kick a game-winning field goal as time expired.
Despite the loss, it was clearly the Cowboys’ top game offensively. It also coincides with the first game they opened up the offense, letting Romo hang on to the ball and look downfield. That’s not a coincidence.
Let’s take a look at how each position performed in this contest. Grades will be given based on a combination of stats and film study, including advanced stats like these.
*Stats courtesy of advancednflstats.com, unless noted otherwise.