The Denver Broncos open up the 2011 campaign tomorrow night in Arlington, Texas where they face the Dallas Cowboys. If this were a past NFL season, I would have, without a doubt, said this game really won’t count because it is only preseason. However, even though the outcome of tomorrow’s game will not directly impact the Broncos’ regular season record, this game will most likely make a very bold statement given the strange, lockout-controlled offseason, a head coaching change, a three quarterback saga worthy of a soap opera, and an ex-NFL star quarterback in his first season as the Broncos’ Vice President of Football Operations.
Despite all the possible storylines generated by the Broncos and their young 2011 season, the Broncos and the Cowboys have a memorable history dating back to 1973. Since then, the two teams have faced each other a total of eleven times (preseason games excluded). Of the eleven games, the Broncos lead the series six games to five and have outscored the Cowboys 253-237. Unfortunately, one of the Cowboys’ victories came in Super Bowl XII in New Orleans, Louisiana when they beat the Broncos 27-10. A bright side for the Broncos is that the Broncos have won the last four regular season meetings. Since the year 2000, the Broncos and Cowboys have played each other in the preseason a total of four times (2000, 2001, 2007, & 2008), and the Broncos have won three of those games.
As a side note, this trip to Texas marks the first time the Broncos will play in Cowboys Stadium. I had the opportunity to tour this $1 billion dollar stadium, and I am confident in saying most football fans will be impressed by this modern day coliseum. The Bronco players, even though they will be focused on the game, their assignments, and the opposition, will obviously take a minute or two (possibly more) to look at the crown jewel of Jerry Jones’ new stadium; the gigantic high-definition television screen hung high above the field. The screen is made up of two, back-to-back screens that each measure 72-feet x 152-feet (175-feet diagonal). On September 28, 2009 when the Carolina Panthers visited Cowboys Stadium, Guinness World Records awarded the Dallas Cowboys and Mitsubishi Electric certificates for the world’s largest high-definition video display. This video board definitely gives new meaning to the term “jumbo- tron.”
When Thursday comes to an end, many questions existing on Wednesday night may be answered, if only for one game. Even if some questions are answered, I am sure a few questions will remain; no doubt, there will be new questions and obstacles for the coaching staff. That is part of the NFL season; you overcome one obstacle and another one arises. The team that overcomes their obstacles the quickest, most efficiently, usually has more success. This cycle will continue until the final game of the season, which is four and a half months away. For now, we don’t even have to worry about the end of the season; instead, we can focus on the beginning of the season, which is oh so close. I almost feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve. T-minus 20 hours and counting!