Raise your hands Broncos fans if you thought from 2009 until halfway through 2012 that Knowshon Moreno was a first-round bust.

One two three all of Denver. State of Colorado. Entire Rocky Mountain region.

This is why the silliest stupidest most irrelevant exercise in the NFL is when teams are given draft grades immediately upon completion.

Moreno has become a rough tough emotional athletic splendid running back. He had 93 yards rushing on 19 carries and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in a 51-48 Broncos victory Sunday. He also made five catches for 57 yards.

"I feel the same" Moreno said. "I'm just running with a purpose. Every game I try to go out run with a purpose do my job and do what I can to help this team out."

Moreno picked No. 12 in the first round and Robert Ayers chosen No. 18 spent most of their first four years trying not to hear whispers they were failures. Ayers got a sack Sunday after his left shoulder had popped out and was popped back in. His 4½ sacks are second on the team to Shaun Phillips who has five.

Moreno leads the team with 321 yards rushing putting him on pace for his first 1000-yard season.

Key players injured. His defense physically tattered Broncos owner Pat Bowlen walked directly up to cornerback Champ Bailey after the high-scoring victory Sunday.

The conversation was private but it doesn't take an owner to see Denver's defense needs Bailey back in the worst way.

Before fretting too much about the defensive injuries there is a good chance Bailey the Broncos' 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback will return for the game Sunday against Jacksonville. And there is only one more game left in Von Miller's suspension.

Help is needed after Denver's defense lost three starters to first-half injuries. Cornerback Chris Harris (concussion) linebacker Wesley Woodyard (neck shoulder) and defensive end Robert Ayers (left shoulder) didn't play in the second half when the Cowboys scored 28 points.