Denver Broncos’ rookie performances against the Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos, Brandon Johnson, Kendall Hinton (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos, Brandon Johnson, Kendall Hinton (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

In the Denver Broncos’ 2022 preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys, several players shined, including a handful of rookies.

Rookie defensive standouts

On a play that does not stand out on the stat sheet for Matt Henningsen, he had what was the most impactful play from a rookie defender. With a great inside pass rush, he forced Cooper Rush into a throw that was left inside on an out-breaking route, which led to a P.J. Locke interception.

Along with an interception causing pressure, Henningsen stood strong in the run game and did have a tackle.

Damarri Mathis and Delarrin Turner-Yell also turned out solid performances. Both played their run fits well, Turner-Yell had four total tackles and Mathis had three. There were not any egregious errors from the pair, but nothing outstanding either.

Nik Bonitto had an OK day against the Dallas Cowboys but was not particularly exciting. Which is fine. Just because he was the Denver Broncos’ top draft pick, fans and media expect him to have the biggest impact immediately, which would be great if he did, but his transition could take some time.

Bonitto found himself out of position a few times in the run game and did not record any pressures on the night.

Faion Hicks had a rough night. He was targeted often, resulting in positive plays for the Dallas Cowboys. He was in coverage on what was the lone touchdown by the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night. Hicks was also beat on a deep ball on Ben DeNucci’s first pass attempt of the game down the sideline when the Cowboys were backed up on their own 1-yard line.

Grading the rookies’ performances, there was a lot to like. There still were some great teaching moments that you get from a young player’s debut, but overall, the guys on offense definitely showed potential.

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If we are asking the question of which rookies had the best outing, it would go to the young trio of wide receivers, Montrell Washington, Jalen Virgil, and Brandon Johnson.