The Denver Broncos took a 21-10 lead at halftime against the ailing Dallas Cowboys in a game that featured a 65-minute weather delay in the first quarter and the loss of two cornerbacks.
The Broncos opened the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trevor Siemian to Emmanuel Sanders with 9 minutes, 25 seconds left in the first quarter.
Then with the Cowboys facing a second-and-10 at the Denver 46 with 33 seconds left in the first quarter, the play was suspended due to inclement weather. There was rain on the field and lightning in the area.
The game was stopped for 65 minutes before resuming at 5 p.m. Central time.
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Dallas opened the game without cornerback starter Orlando Scandrick. They lost rookie Chidobe Awuzie in the first quarter with a hamstring injury and then lost veteran Nolan Carroll with a concussion in the second quarter, leaving Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown as the only healthy cornerbacks.
It forced rookie safety Xavier Woods on the field as a nickel cornerback.
This was Lewis’ NFL debut after he missed all of training camp and the preseason with a hamstring injury. He participated in just two full practices.
The Cowboys tied the score at 7-7 in the second quarter thanks to a big play from defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.
He sacked Siemian and caused a fumble. Defensive tackle Maliek Collins returned it to the 3, setting up a touchdown pass from quarterback Dak Prescott to receiver Dez Bryant.
The Broncos made it 14-7 on a 16-yard pass from Siemian to running back C.J. Anderson. Safety Jeff Heath got beaten on the play.
Lawrence sacked Siemian to force a field goal only to give the Broncos a first down when he was penalized for leverage on the field goal attempt that was good.
The Broncos took the points off the board and turned it into a touchdown.
After the Cowboys failed to move again, the Broncos scored again.
Sanders beat rookie Lewis with a double move to haul in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Siemian.
The Cowboys scored right before the half on a 56-yard field goal from Dan Bailey.
In a dismal first half, Prescott did earn an NFL record, becoming the first quarterback in league history with fewer than five interceptions in his first 500 pass attempts.
Prescott had four career interceptions through the first half. He already has an NFL record for fewest career interceptions in a quarterback's first 17 games, dating back to last season’s sensational rookie campaign.
Prescott opened the game with 498 career attempts. Prescott also set another record with the touchdown pass to Bryant. He is the first quarterback in NFL history to have fewer than five interceptions at the time of his 25th career touchdown.
Denver won the game 42-17.