The Denver Broncos will travel to Dallas this evening and take on the Cowboys on Thursday, August 11th in Arlington, Texas. The game will kickoff the 2011 preseason for both teams and will be broadcast locally on KUSA-TV (NBC 9) and KOA Radio (850 AM). Kickoff will take place at 6:35 (MT).
Quick game notes:
- Thursday's match will mark the third time in the past four seasons that Denver and Dallas have faced off (including the preseason). Denver has won the past two matches and owns a 7-6 record against the Cowboys in the preseason.
- Preseason games give younger players a chance to prove they're worthy of a spot on the roster, as well as fine tune the starters who are preparing for the regular season. In all, thirteen rookie college free agents (UDFA's) are vying for a spot on Denver’s active roster, at least one UDFA has made Denver’s opening day 53-man roster in each of the last seven seasons.
- Expect the first-team players to play for the first series or two before the reserves (2nd and 3rd string players) come in and finish out the game.
New Faces, Returning Faces:
- The game will mark the first time Denver's coaching staff will get to see rookie linebacker Von Miller play at the professional level, live. Miller was drafted second overall by the Broncos out of Texas A&M last April in the draft. Denver is excited to see what kind of production Miller will be able to produce playing across from returning defensive end Elvis Dumervil, who led the NFL in sacks (with 17) in 2009 before missing the entire 2010 season due to injury.
- Denver will also get a look at several other first-year Broncos, including wide receiver David Anderson, tight end Daniel Fells, running back Willis McGahee and defensive tackles Brodrick Bunkley, Jeremy Jarmon and Ty Warren. All of the previously mentioned players hope to take on a large role in Denver this season.
- The game will also feature Denver's offensive line which will have four returning starters joined by rookie right tackle Orlando Franklin of Miami. The men in the trenches struggled at the beginning of last season but showed improvement towards the end of the year. Recharged, Clady, Beadles, Walton, Kuper and Franklin will get their first chance to pave the way for running lanes on Thursday.
“In camp you’re competing against each other. I think they’re all going to be excited to play against somebody else and see how they measure up. I know this is a preseason game, but all these guys are competitors — including myself — and we’re there to win. It’s a lot more fun winning than losing.” — Head Coach John Fox on playing for the first time this season.