Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos smiles during his game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on September 29, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Eagles 52-20. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Prepare to edit the record book, because the Cowboys have never allowed two 400-yard passing games in a season. And Peyton Manning is coming to town.
In the wake of surrendering 401 passing yards and 30 points to what had been a pedestrian Chargers' offense, Monte Kiffin’s defense must now face the hottest quarterback to throw an NFL football in more than 50 years – a future Hall-of-Fame who wears No. 18.
Said Kiffin of Manning’s imminent arrival in Arlington on Sunday afternoon: "That's not good."
Manning has the Broncos 4-0 and is producing numbers at a torrid pace, throwing 16 touchdowns without an interception.
"It's going to be," said linebacker Sean Lee, "a tough game."
Looking for a silver-'n-blue lining? The Cowboys have been decent against Manning. Thanks to two interceptions by Lee they beat Manning and the Colts 38-35 in overtime in Indianapolis in 2010 and beat his 11-0 Colts at Texas Stadium, 21-14, back in 2006.
Manning, who will make his first visit to AT&T Stadium, has been down right human in his career against Dallas, going only 2-2 with as many interceptions as touchdowns (7) and a modest quarterback rating of 85.2 (he's at 138.0 this season).
But he descends upon Dallas at an awful time. Phillip Rivers had all day to throw against a Cowboys' pass rush missing Jay Ratliff and Anthony Spencer and now maybe George Selvie (concussion). If Bruce Carter got torched by Danny Woodhead, imagine what Wes Welker will do to Orlando Scandrick in the slot. And we all know about the struggles of Morris Claiborne.
Kiffin's "Tampa 2" defense has been as advertised, creating three turnovers for touchdowns in four games. But if it can't pressure and cover Sunday against Manning, it will also make negative history for a Cowboys' defense.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.