Dallas Cowboys 7 - 17 Denver Broncos, Johnson touchdowns, summary: score, stats, highlights | NFL Preseason Week 2
Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos: as it happened
Cowboys defeat Broncos 17-7: Final Summary
It’s the same story as always with the Cowboys, whether it’s the starters or the backups: sloppy plays lead to penalties, lead to costly losses. Dallas led the NFL in penalties last year and it looks like McCarthy hasn’t done anything to work on that according to what we saw tonight. Penalty after penalty set them back and ruined opportunities for the Cowboys.
Dallas played sloppily, but the Broncos also dominated offensively. Josh Johnson showed that he has what it takes to be the reliable backup QB to Russell Wilson. After a scoreless first quarter, Johnson and the Broncos stepped it up. Johnson threw a 40-yard pass to WR Brandon Johnson, setting them up for a TD opportunity. They maximized when Johnson threw it to Seth Williams for the TD and the extra point by McManus was good to put the Broncos up 7-0 in the 2nd quarter. It wasn't too long after that Denver got their second score of the night. Dallas turned it back over quick and Johnson passed deep 17 yards to Tomlinson. He then hit a 24-yard deep pass to Hinton right into the end zone. The Broncos were up 14-0, stopped Dallas from making any significant plays, and made it down the field another time to set up a field goal before the end of the half. It was a 57-yard attempt, but McManus missed it. Unfortunately for Dallas, they get an Offsides call, giving him another chance from 5 yards closer. McManus made the 52-yard attempt and the Broncos ended the first half up 17 to nothing.
Rush hit a 25-yard pass to Hendershot on a 4th-down play, but a Holding penalty put them right back again to overturn it. The Broncos brought in QB Rypien in the 3rd quarter and the Cowboys eventually brought in QB DiNucci just before the start of the 4th. The Cowboys had a field goal opportunity, but Hajrullahu missed the 56-yard attempt. DiNucci finally got Dallas far enough down the field for a TD opportunity. With under five minutes to go in the game, Dallas got points on the board when DiNucci completed a pass to WR Fehoko for 12 yards to get a touchdown. It was Maher, who has been competing with Hajrullahu at kicker, who got the extra point. The Cowboys managed to avoid the shutout, making it 17-7, the final score.
You'll find reaction to the Cowboys' defeat to the Broncos in our latest daily Dallas digest, which includes post-match comments by head coach Mike McCarthy.
Dallas gets down to their own 35 and then Rypien takes the knee to run out the clock and that's game
Rypien throws deep on 4th and 6 but it's incomplete to Virgil, Cowboys get the ball back
Rypien hits a 30-yard pass to Virgil right off the bat
Two incomplete passes and one False Start later, and Dallas is at 3rd and goal at the Broncos 12.
DiNucci's ball fake, runs it up 6 yards, gets the Cowboys to 1st and goal
Dallas makes it down to the Broncos 22, 1st down and 10
Denver gets a Pass Interference penalty, giving the Cowboys an automatic first down for once to the Broncos 46
Dallas gets down the field slowly and little at a time, but they make it to their own 42 eventually
Holding - Dallas, 5-yard penalty, they will start at their own 5
Broncos get held to 4th and 26 and punt it back and Turpin makes the fair catch
Rypien gets an 11-yard pass to Virgil for the first down to the Dallas 35
The Cowboys have Hajrullahu in at kicker and he misses a 56-yard attempt
DiNucci scrambles to get away, nearly throws an interception, but is saved. Still, they're brought to 4th and 15.
Dallas starts the 4th quarter with a False Start - 119 yards in penalties so far
END of 3rd quarter
Dallas is brought to 3rd and 14 but the Broncos get a Neutral Zone Infraction call
Holding penalty puts Dallas at 2nd and 14 at the Broncos 37
2nd and 3 at the Broncos 33
Holding penalty on Dallas sets them back, but Illegal Contact penalty on Denver puts them back up again, Davis gets the Cowboys down the field little by little
DiNucci comes in at QB for the Cowboys, he passes deep to Smith for a 40-yard gain!
Rypien throws it again at 4th and goal and it's nearly intercepted again but instead it's incomplete to Shepherd
Rypien nearly sacked, throws it away and risks an interception but Dallas doesn't get it, 4th and goal
Rypien pass incomplete to Scott, 3rd and goal Broncos
Rypien to Shepherd for a gain of 1 yard before he's hit out of bounds by Brown, 2nd and goal
Hardy takes the ball and runs it down 13 yards to the Dallas 4 and the Broncos are at 1st and goal
Rypien to Shepherd for 10 yards puts the Broncos at the Dallas 17
Broncos False Start - 5-yard penalty, 1st and 15 at Dallas 33
The Broncos get into Cowboys territory and an 11-yard play on 3rd and 7 to Fulgham puts them at the Dallas 28.
Rypien throws it from the end zone deep and Virgil catches it for a huge 42-yard play!
Rain is coming down steady in Denver now
At least Anger gets the Cowboys a nice punt, ball goes down at the 1
Cowboys blow it and punt it away again
Another Holding penalty pushes them back 10 yards again
Rush hits some short passes that get the Cowboys to 4th and inches, but they get a False Start that puts them back 5 more yards, 4th and 6. Rush goes for it and the pass is COMPLETE to Hendershot for 25 yards, but guess what...
Martin punts it 48 yards to the Dallas 28 and Turpin runs it back 10 yards to the Dallas 38.
In the second half, the Broncos are giving QB Rypien a chance. On his first drive, they are held to 4th and 12 and punt it away.
McManus 52-yard attempt is GOOD
Broncos get another opportunity to kick it from 52 yards and the Cowboys just gave the Broncos 3 more points before the half.
Offsides penalty on Dallas
McManus 57-yard field goal attempt is wide right and NO GOOD
Dallas takes their first timeout
The Broncos take their third and final timeout after a Johnson pass is complete to Williams to put them at 2nd and 10 and they're in FG range.
Johnson throws deep to Hinton 17 yards to get them to the Dallas 47
The Johnson-Johnson connection is getting the Broncos downfield. With less than 20 seconds left, they try to get within field goal range before the end of the first half.
Denver takes second timeout after they get a penalty (Hinton)
Broncos defense is putting the pressure on Rush and they've got no chance at 4th and 21. The Cowboys punt it away and Davis with the punt return gets hit immediately by Wilson.
Rush SACKED by Browning for a loss of 12 yards, puts Cowboys at 3rd and 21
Just before the two-minute warning, the Cowboys get a False Start penalty
Rush gets a first down with a pass to Tolbert for 5 yards, the first catch for the young receiver
At 2nd and 11, Johnson gets the deep pass 17 yards to Tomlinson to give Denver another 1st down at the Cowboys 35
Bland hit with a Roughing the Passer to give Broncos a nice 15 yards easy
Basham SACKS Johnson for a loss of 4, 2nd and 14 for Denver
Cowboys are held again to 4th down. This time they don't go for it. They kick it away and Washington runs it down the field 27 yards for a huge gain for Denver.
Rush completes a few passes to get the Cowboys down the field to the Dallas 39, but Tyler Smith gets his second penalty of the night. When the Cowboys drafted Smith, the penalties he got in college were a big concern, and he's proving why that hasn't changed.
After Johnson has an incomplete pass to WR B. Johnson that brought them to 3rd down, he tries it again and Johnson makes the deep pass to bring them to the Dallas 5 and the first down! A 40-yard play by the receiver!
Starting off the 2nd quarter at 4th and 3, the Cowboys go for it, but Singleton stops them and now the Broncos get the ball back on downs.
Rookie first round draft pick Tyler Smith is called for holding, puts them at 2nd and 16 and the Broncos stop them after 5 yards. Rush ran it to the 48-yard line to bring Dallas to 4th and 2 with seconds left, but that will take us to the end of the first quarter.
Two minutes left in the 1st quarter
Dowdle gets 11 yards to bring the Cowboys to 45-yard line
Johnson tried to run it and threw away the ball just in time before nearly getting sacked by Fowler. And Dallas will get the ball back again on downs.
At 3rd & 2, Boone is wide open but just doesn't catch what was a perfect pass by Johnson, and now it's 4th & 2 and the Broncos will go for it.
Johnson gets a 19-yard pass to Williams, giving the Broncos the 1st down at the Dallas 37.
The Cowboys are at the Denver 38 when they're held to 4th & 2 and they go for it, but Rush's pass is INTERCEPTED by Locke.
Cooper Rush pass incomplete, but a pass interference call on Denver gives the Cowboys the automatic first down. Even with the first down handed to them on a platter, they struggled to get anywhere. At 3rd & 2 a holding penalty puts them back another 10 yards. Rush was able to get the pass to Dennis Houston for 18 yards, one of the receivers who impressed most at training camp
Another fair catch by Turpin
Wright was called for defensive holding, so the Broncos keep the ball, but they can't get anywhere. They're stopped at 4th and 8 and it'll be the Cowboys' ball yet again. Indeed, it's a defensive game so far.
Johnson attempted pass was INTERCEPTED by Wright on the Cowboys defense!
In the Cowboys first down, Rush nearly throws an interception. They're held to 4th down yet again and they'll punt it away.
KaVontae Turpin has now had two fair catches. The rookie out of TCU needs to make some of those punt returns if he wants to make it on the team.
Washington fumbled the ball and Denver is forced to punt at 4th & 14 and it looks like we may have a battle of the defenses tonight.
Josh Johnson is starting the Broncos off at QB and it's Boone at RB. The Dallas defense is coming for the Broncos too though, and they get the immediate stop.
Cowboys forced to punt at 4th & 6, good job by the Denver defense
Cooper Rush is starting off the Cowboys at QB. RB Dowdle was stopped twice in a row by the Denver defense and forced to 3rd & 1. Already we have a man down, Broncos Jonas Griffith is on the ground.
Andddd we're off! Cowboys won the toss and will start us off!
We're just 20 minutes away from kickoff and the stadium is LOUD with fans from both sides!
Cowboys Injury Update: Tyron Smith
OT Tyron Smith won't play tonight or likely any of the preseason games due to an ankle injury at the end of the Thursday's joint practice with the Broncos. The Cowboys are being overly cautious with Smith, who's had a history of injury problems.
Fun Fact: The Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy used to babysit the Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
Denver fans feeling positive
The Denver Broncos made some nice offseason moves, including hiring new head coach Nathaniel Hackett and signing quarterback Russell Wilson. This has Broncos fans feeling a lot more positive going into 2022 than when they left last season.
"It didn't matter if I was drafted, undrafted, we all get the same opportunity at the end of the day, so I was blessed Dallas gave me the opportunity."
Which Broncos players to watch?
I know, I know. No Russell Wilson AND no Randy Gregory? What’s even the point, right? Wrong. The Broncos made some blockbuster moves in the offseason and there will be plenty of players worth watching tonight, too.
WR Montrell Washington
The Denver Broncos’ fifth-round pick will have his time to shine tonight. At just 5’10” and 170 pounds, Montrell Washington is looking like he could become Denver’s punt returner, and we should get to see that in action tonight against the Cowboys. At FCS University, he had 1,075 yards on 48 kickoff returns and 771 yards on 47 punt returns.
RB Mike Boone
Boone has never really had his moment to shine in the NFL. Entering his fifth year in the NFL and second with the Broncos, he’s always been the bench-warmer. The preseason is his chance to show that he’s capable of being a reliable backup to RBs Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon.
WR Brandon Johnson
The rookie out of UDFA, Brandon Johnson is looking for a chance to be one of Russell Wilson’s go-to guys. Unlike the Cowboys, the Broncos are not lacking a strong receiving corps, but having depth on the roster is important, so Johnson will be looking to show he deserves to be on the practice squad and can be one of the reliable ones on the list of Denver WRs.
EDGE Baron Browning
Browning was the Broncos’ third-round pick in 2021, but was injured in the offseason and later suffered from a concussion, so he was out several games during his rookie season. Though he had a good season as linebacker when he did get back to the field, this year, he’ll be playing as a defensive end and the coaches and players seem to have a lot of confidence in him in that role. We should see him get plenty of action in the preseason.
CB Damarri Mathis
Mathis was the Broncos’ fourth-round pick and he isn’t likely to be one of the starting CBs on the team. Rather he’ll be looking for a spot on special teams. But he is still a fun player to watch. At Pittsburgh, he had 87 tackles, 19 pass breaks, five interceptions, and one pick-six. Hopefully we get to see some of that action tonight against the Cowboys.
Which Cowboys players to watch?
We’re obviously not going to see Prescott, Zeke, or Lamb tonight. So here are the Cowboys rookies you should be keeping an eye on tonight.
OT Tyler Smith
Tyler Smith was the Cowboys first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and has been criticized for the amount of penalties he got in college, so that will be something to watch for as well. Otherwise, the competition between Smith and Connor McGovern seems to be hot and the two are rotating at left guard. At the moment, that’s where Smith’s focus lies, but he could move to swing tackle at some point too. The coaches have been impressed with Smith’s quickness after the snap and his ability to use his heavy hand against defenders.
WR Noah Brown
The Cowboys, without Cooper this season, with an injured Gallup, and with their veteran hopeful Washington’s new injury, have been watching their wide receiver group carefully. Prescott has been outspoken about his excitement about Noah Brown, who’s been one of the WRs to stand out in training camp.
WR Simi Fehoko
Simi Fehoko is the other receiver to have stood out in training camp along with Brown. It’s possible both he and Brown could see more playing time than expected in the regular season, which makes them important players to watch right now in the preseason. Let’s see if what Fehoko proved he can do in camp translates onto the field at game time.
WR KaVontae Turpin
The Cowboys brought in Turpin from the USFL this year, where he won the MVP award. What he’s shown is that he has the speed to be the Cowboys’ go-to return specialist and hopefully we’ll get to see a bit of that tonight against the Broncos.
EDGE Sam Williams
Sam Williams was the Cowboys’ second-round pick in the draft this year and has been playing even better than expected so far in camp. Expect to see a lot of Williams tonight against the Broncos so we can see if he can put those skills to work in a real game.
Gameday weather in Denver
The Cowboys and Broncos play in Denver at Empower Stadium tonight, and it’s been a lot hotter than what the Cowboys were used to at training camp in Oxnard, California. On Thursday, Denver actualy broke a record-high temperature for that date when it hit 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Tonight should be a nice change compared to that, though. Once the sun goes down, temperatures will drop. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. local time (9 p.m. ET) with temperatures expected to be around 81 degrees at that time. Skies are expected to be mostly clear with lows around 68 degrees and a nice breeze, with winds reaching as high as 25 mph.
Cowboys joint practice with Denver, Randy Gregory on PUP list
The Dallas Cowboys headed to Denver earlier in the week to have a joint practice with the Broncos ahead of their first preseason game. At Thursday’s joint practice, the highlights were really all about the veterans, who we won’t see tonight, and some fights that broke out between the two teams.
Ex Cowboys DE Randy Gregory, who made headlines when he suddenly signed with the Broncos instead of re-signing with the Cowboys, did not practice on Thursday. He is still on the Physically Unable to Perform list, so the Cowboys won’t have to face him tonight either. However, during Thursday’s drills, Gregory was actively participating vocally, yelling back and forth and even getting involved in some scuffles in practice. “He missed us,” said Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
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