Grading the Cowboys vs. Browns
PASS OFFENSE: A Dak Prescott had his best game of the season, completing 21 of 27 passes for 247 yards with three touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 141.8, which was also a team record for a rookie. Prescott had no problem with the accuracy that plagued him last week against Philadelphia. His passing was pin point even though he was throwing to wide open receivers. That Dez Bryant had one catch for 19 yards and a was a non-factor was not even a concern for the passing game.
RUN OFFENSE: A The Cowboys rushed 42 times for 168 yards. Never mind that Ezekiel Elliott didn’t top the 100-yard barrier, rushing 18 times for 92 yards. He got the job done and played briefly in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys had the ball for 13 minutes, 7 seconds in the fourth quarter because of their ability to control the game on the ground.
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PASS DEFENSE: A Sure, Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler had a respectable day numbers wise. He completed 19 of 27 passes for 203 with a touchdown and 104.4 quarterback rating. But they were largely hollow numbers. The Cowboys registered a season-high tying four sacks. including two by rookie defensive tackle Maliek Collins and threw nothing down the field. The Cowboys didn’t allow a 100-yard receiver for the eighth consecutive game.
RUN DEFENSE: A The Cowboys didn't allow a 100-yard rusher for the eighth consecutive game. The Browns rushed 13 times for 45 yards. Credit the blowout score and the need to abandon the run. Credit the domination of the clock by the offense. But credit the defense for shutting the Browns down when they did have the ball.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A The Cowboys scored five touchdowns. They didn’t need any field goals. They punted just twice. They gave up nothing on returns. They only bad play on special teams was a bad decision by returner Lucky Whitehead to let a punt bounce and get the team pinned back at the 1.
COACHING: A It was a potential trap game as the Cowboys could have been looking past the winless Browns. Coach Jason Garrett had his team ready and focused in what was their most complete performance of the year. Offensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is on a play-calling roll. Never have the Cowboys schemed so many wide open receivers in the passing game.