Beating the Broncos at their own game will be the key to success in the round one blockbuster, Cowboys vice-captain Jordan McLean says.
While all the hype around North Queensland has been around the signing of star fullback Valentine Holmes, McLean said getting it done in the middle was the key to a strong season.
The Broncos will bring plenty of firepower to Queensland Country Bank Stadium for the Friday night derby, with David Fifita, Payne Haas and Tevita Pangai Jnr expected to give McLean and his teammates plenty of headaches.
McLean said it would take a team effort to overcome the Broncos and other formidable forward packs throughout the season.
"The pressure goes to everyone in the team and everyone's got to lift. We've lost some experience there so it's our job to step up," he said of a side that's lost Scott Bolton and Matt Scott to retirement and will be without Josh McGuire until round two.
"It's not about proving [we're better] to the media and to anyone else.
"It's about proving to our pack and ourselves that we're good enough to match it with the best in the game."
Match Highlights: Cowboys v Broncos
Cowboys coach Paul Green has options up his sleeve when it comes to selecting his starting squad and McLean expects Francis Molo to play a big role in 2020.
"I'm not too sure what's going to happen there [in terms of who will start], Greeny will have the last say, no doubt," the 28-year-old said.
"The most standout I'd say is Franky. He's played the most consistent football in all the trials so he's put his hand up and we'll see what happens come round one."