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Broncos secondary a daunting challenge
*Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett: *"Well, [the Broncos' secondary]'s a big advantage. It's a big advantage at any position in this day and age in football because so much of playing the game is playing with the guy next to you. To have that unit back there be as productive as they've been and be together, they always seem like they're on the same page. So not only do they play very well individually, but they play well together and they communicate well and they don't make a whole lot of mistakes. So it's a big reason why they're so good."
Cowboys tight end Jason Witten [on the young safeties]: "They're really good. I know there was a lot of talk when T.J. Ward was released there at the end [of the preseason]. They're just a confident group. They play so well. That entire back end, they're a confident group. They feed off each other. They play good in zone, they're not afraid to come up and challenge you in man-to-man. They're physical. Those safeties, when they come in the run game, they make tackles. They had a tough challenge last week — or on Monday night, I guess — with [Antonio] Gates and [Hunter] Henry and … [they were] able to just kind of make them irrelevant in the game, in the passing game. So I've got a lot of respect for how they play and how it all works together. Sometimes it's man-to-man and sometimes it's zone. They just have a good feel in understanding route concepts and then when the ball is thrown, they're certainly a physical group." <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">
The return of running back Devontae Booker was the highlight of Wednesday's practice ahead of the upcoming game against the Cowboys. (Photos by Gabriel Christus)
DeMarcus Ware's lasting legacy on the Cowboys and Broncos
*JG: *"I don't know if there's one [that] sticks out; there's so many. First off, he's such a great person. He's such a class individual and was such a great leader for our team. Based on just how he went about [things], how he interacted with his teammates, with his coaches — really, everybody in this organization and our community. So he's a fantastic person; everyone loved being around him, and he's a great example to the rest of us. Obviously he was an outstanding player. He had a unique ability to get off the football and disrupt the other offense by affecting the quarterback as well as anyone I've ever been around. There's so many times when he played through things. When he was banged up, he wasn't quite right and got through practice and was really productive in games. And again, I keep using this word — inspirational — but it was. He was inspirational to the rest of us. I hate to pick out one moment, but that's really what he embodied and that's what I think about when I think about DeMarcus Ware. Very fortunate to have been around him. He was great for our football team for a long time."
JW: "He's one of my favorite teammates over the course of my career. … When guys leave you often hear them say the one thing they miss is being around the guys, and DeMarcus is one of those guys. He had an unbelievable skill set as a player. You can go on and on: He was strong, he was able to set the edge in the run game, and then, of course, his ability as a pass rusher to get around the edge. But I think the one thing that I will remember — and that I think is the kind of defining trait, if you will, for DeMarcus — is just who he is: I mean, a big smile on his face, good-looking guy and he always was making other people around him better. And I think Von would be the first one to say that. Just watch him, watch how he plays, watch how he practices, see how he tries to work at his craft. … Early on, as a rookie, we had a running joke. He would want to get me in pass protection and I was always wanting to get him in pass routes, get him in coverage. And when you play with somebody that long, you just grow a relationship and a bond that is bigger than just football. He is worthy of all the accolades he's received in his career, and I think it's great that Denver is honoring him and that he was able to get a Super Bowl, because he deserved it. Just an unbelievable player and a better person. I'm sure you guys saw that firsthand."
Miller a special challenge
*JG: *"It's pretty obviously that he's one of the best players in the league. He is just fantastic in every aspect of the game. He's quick, he's fast, he's explosive, he's got great instincts for rushing the passer, he's so disruptive and he seemingly makes play after play after play, each week. And like you said, [he's] getting a lot of attention from the opposing offenses, so we have a real respect for him. He plays the game the right way and certainly plays at a very high level."
*JW: *" He's special. He's an elite player. You've got to know where he's at, at all times. He has a combination of that rare skill of — he's extremely strong and explosive with his punch, that he can set the edge in the run game, but then it's his athletic movements. … He's so athletic that when he gets on the edge. And [he had] 13-and-a-half sacks last year. You see it over the course of his career. And when you study him — I've been able to study a lot of linebackers over the years — you see a real knack for the football and finding that area. He's a tough challenge. We've got to know where he's at and be ready for him and get a lot of different guys on him because he can change the game, and he's certainly done that over the <span style="text-decoration: underline;">
Garrett impressed by Siemian's play
JG: "He's a really good quarterback. He has a really good understanding of what they want to do and I think he's a really good athlete who can really make any of the throws you need to make. And again, he has a good feel for the game. He's going to make a number of plays with his feet, [like] the other night, in addition to a number of really good throws that he made, both in their play-action game and their drop-back game. So you could tell their team believes in him and it's easy to see why. He's been a very productive player for them in the time that he's started for them."