Last week: 18
When Bradley Chubb went on injured reserve in September and Von Miller was traded on Nov. 1, opportunity met preparation for Cooper, who has made his first two career starts in the Broncos' last two games. The seventh-round pick had his first two career sacks in the Broncos' win over the Cowboys this past Sunday.
Dan Hanzus, NFL.com
Last week: 23
In their first game without Von Miller, the Broncos were the best version of themselves in a stunning upset of the Cowboys. The running game -- led by Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon -- operated as a runaway train, while Teddy Bridgewater outplayed Dak Prescott with an efficient performance that saw big contributions from Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick. Then there was the defense, which shut out the No. 1 offense in football until garbage time and made you think Denver might still have greatness on that side of the ball -- even with a franchise legend like Miller cashing his checks elsewhere. This was the type of performance that changes the way you look at a team.
Perpetually difficult to figure out, the Broncos can demolish an opponent without one of the best defenders in franchise history, but struggle to hang with some of the other middling opponents on their schedule. Still, a game against the Eagles before the bye will be instructive; Vic Fangio's defense remains dangerous and a difficult matchup for any team in the NFL. If they're 6–4 after 10 games with a handful of winnable games remaining after the break, they should be taken seriously.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
Last week: 22
Give Vic Fangio credit for getting his team ready to beat the Cowboys. After trading Von Miller, who knew how they would play? The defense was outstanding against the Cowboys and they are in the playoff hunt.
Last week: 20
This game was nowhere as close as the final score indicates—the Broncos scored the game's first 30 points. Denver outgained one of the league's most potent offenses by over 100 yards, held the Cowboys to 290 yards of offense (many of which came with the contest decided), forced two turnovers and sacked Dak Prescott twice.
Check out photos from the Broncos' big win over the Cowboys as they celebrated their many big plays and the victory itself as the clock hit all zeroes.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo Sports
Last week: 21
The Broncos didn't have much on their resume before Sunday. Then they absolutely blasted the Cowboys, leading 30-0 with five minutes left. Does that mean the Broncos have taken a step forward? Or was it a random outcome on a crazy Sunday?
Mark Maske, Washington Post
Previous ranking: 21
The lopsided triumph at Dallas gives the Broncos two straight wins on the heels of a four-game skid. They have a good chance to keep things rolling this weekend when they host the Eagles. The Broncos certainly didn't miss LB Von Miller. They got a spectacular return in the Miller trade, and that bodes well for the future. In the short term, it's still difficult to know what to make of this team, given its wild fluctuations in performance.
Nate Davis, USA Today
Last week: 22
Though 5-4, Denver's rout of Dallas on Sunday was its first victory over a varsity opponent. A win over Eagles on Sunday would give Broncos sweep of NFC East.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News
Last week: 21
The Broncos rallied around talk of them giving up in 2021 and came through with a post-Von Miller dominant defensive performance in Dallas. Let's see if that ends up being a short-lived Vic Fangio reprieve or a springboard to a big second half.