Week 11: Cleveland Browns At Dallas Cowboys
- QuarterbackRookie quarterback Brandon Weeden has not complained about the hand he has been dealt. He can look at the receivers he has at his disposal and he can realize that the Browns don’t have very much to offer. However, he has shown some improvement, hangs in the pocket, takes abuse and he does not complain. While he makes mistakes, Weeden has a chance to hang on to his job in the future.Tony Romo has taken quite a lot of abuse from opponents and Cowboys fans who are unhappy with his contribution. However, Romo led the Cowboys to an important Week 10 win over the Eagles. He was at his best in the second half and he throws one of the easiest balls to catch in the league. Romo completed 19-of-26 passes for 209 yards with two TDs and no interceptions.
- OffenseRunning back Trent Richardson gives the Browns explosiveness and dependability running the football. Richardson has run for 575 yards but he is only averaging 3.8 yards per carry. If the Browns could get more from their receivers, that would open things up for the running game. Josh Gordon is a big-play receiver who is averaging 21.9 yards per catch and he has found the end zone four times.The Cowboys are hoping that DeMarco Murray will be healthy and that he can take some of the pressure off of Romo. The Cowboys have struggled in their running game. While he makes too many mental mistakes, Dez Bryant has big-play ability. Tight end Jason Witten catches everything that comes his way. The Dallas offensive line is showing some improvement in recent games.
- DefenseThe Browns play fairly well on the defensive end. They are a physical group of tacklers and they are usually well-positioned. Middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson is a big-time hitter who can go sideline-to-sideline to make plays. He has a team-leading 69 tackles and he also has 3.0 sacks. Cornerback Buster Skrine does not have any picks, but he has 58 tackles.The gameplan in Dallas is to attack with speed. They are going to attempt to keep Richardson from attacking the flanks and keeping his running game between the tackles. Linebacker DeMarcus Ware is the Cowboys’ best defensive player and he may be the best at his position in the league. The Cowboys had two fourth-quarter defensive touchdowns against the Eagles.
- Special TeamsThe Browns know that Phil Dawson is dependable. He’s got the leg strength to make long field goals and he is also solid when the game is on the line. He has made all 17 of his field goal attempts this season. Punter Reggie Hodges is merely ordinary, and he’s netting 37.0 yards on his punts.The Cowboys are fairly pleased with Dan Bailey at the placekicker position. He has made 16-of-18 field goal attempts this year. He is 1-of-3 on attempts from 50 yards or longer. Brian Moorman dropped 3 of his 7 punts against the Eagles inside the 20-yard line.
The Cowboys came up with a big win when they needed it most by playing exceptionally well in the fourth quarter and coming up with a huge road win at Philadelphia. The Cowboys have lacked consistency, but they can’t afford to let a home game against Cleveland slip through their grasp. Romo needs to come out attacking and build an early lead to control the game.