Broncos risers and fallers after preseason win against Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos, Jonas Griffith, Baron Browning - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos, Jonas Griffith, Baron Browning - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos, PJ Locke – Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Denver Broncos risers & fallers vs. Cowboys: More standouts

PJ Locke had himself a really nice interception early on in this game on a fourth-down play for the Cowboys who were trying to extend a potential scoring drive. Locke was playing out of the slot on this particular play, showing off his versatility for the defensive backfield.

He’s had a great offseason and looks like he’s ready for the regular season with a much bigger role on the defense than we’ve grown accustomed to seeing.

Riser: Matt Henningsen, DL

Earlier on, we talked about the defensive line getting kind of blown up and pushed around in this game, but rookie sixth-round pick Matt Henningsen deserves some praise for the way he played for four quarters, just absolutely flying around the field with a borderline reckless abandon.

Henningsen had the QB hit on that PJ Locke interception and he was right there with Jonathan Kongbo late in the game for a sack on one of the Cowboys’ backup quarterbacks.

What about the backup QBs?

Starting with Josh Johnson, who had a really bad first quarter. Johnson’s passes in the first quarter were really off-target and frankly, a little worrisome. He really bounced back in the second quarter but I think, for the time being, the Broncos’ backup quarterback competition is far from decided.

Johnson put the ball on his receivers in the second quarter and helped lead the team to all 17 of the points they scored in this game.

Brett Rypien on the other hand didn’t lead any scoring drives but he did look pretty impressive for the majority of a 96-yard drive that ended with zero points, unfortunately. He made some bad decisions with the ball late in that drive and it cost the team a chance to add to the scoreboard.

In a real game situation, the Broncos would have kicked some field goals in some of the drives Rypien orchestrated, but the 96-yard drive could have been a 99-yard touchdown drive with a little better execution inside the five.

I’m not sure if we should call the backup QBs “fallers” in this game, by any means, but it wasn’t perfect despite a great second quarter from Johnson.