Cleveland Browns vs. Dallas Cowboys: Five Story Lines
The winless Browns face a 6 – 1 Dallas squad that has been cruising through this regular season. I do not give the Browns much chance to win this contest; however that does not mean this game does not have much interest. Let’s delve into some talking points about this matchup. Is there any way the orange and brown can steal this contest?
#1 – What Jamie Collins Means
In case you haven’t heard, the Cleveland Browns traded for the Pro Bowl linebacker Jamie Collins (from the New England Patriots). It will be interesting to see how he is utilized in a defense that has a knack for missing tackles. Will either Chris Kirksey move outside (to replace Joe Schobert) and accompany the new guy within the linebacker corps? Either way, this part of the team improved. I do not see it being a gigantic improvement, but the Browns have made much worse moves to this point.
#2 – Corey Coleman’s Return
It would appear that the rookie wide out is finally returning to the lineup after breaking his hand following the Ravens game in week two. Despite being rusty, the athlete should take pressure both off of his (wide receiver) teammates and will give the quarterback another viable option on offense. I’m hoping that the loss of Morris Claiborne only helps the Browns out more in the passing attack. They will need all hands on deck in this game, but will it be enough?
#3 – Guy Under Center
Assuming he is all ready to go, the Browns need to stick rookie quarterback Cody Kessler in at quarterback in this contest. Overall, he has put together better outings than veteran Josh McCown this season. Additionally, I would like to see him finally paired with Coleman to see if that helps in the quarterback’s development.
#4 – What Will Rookies Do?
This refers more to the tandem of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot; both of which have had phenomenal rookie outings for the visiting squad. At some point they have to hit the rookie wall, right? Assuming that is the case, it would not be a bad thing if that occurred within First Energy Stadium. Fatigue and errors will be to the advantage of the home team, but they must also take advantage of these situations.
#5 – Trap Game
Dallas is coming off of a tremendous win against the Eagles on Sunday Night Football. They are riding high from a huge win and are now playing the worst team in the league. That is a recipe for a trap game – one where the guests feel they can just show up and dominate with ease. I’m hoping them taking the Browns lightly allows Cody Kessler (probably) and company to move the ball over the field, while the defense actually puts the brakes on an opposing offense.
Conclusion: I still expect the Browns to lose by a fair amount on Sunday, but maybe everything breaks their way in this contest. Maybe the addition of Coleman, Kessler, and Collins puts them over the top. Or how that Prescott and Elliot finally take a step back in their rookie development. I will still predict a Browns defeat by the score of 27 – 17, and for the team to head to 0 – 9.