Sunday’s game was never in doubt.
After trailing briefly 3-0, the Dallas Cowboys overpowered Cleveland 35-10 to win their seventh consecutive game Sunday at First Energy Stadium.
The Cowboys’ (7-1) seven-game winning streak is the team’s longest during a single season since winning seven in a row in the 2007 regular season. It’s also the first time in franchise history that the team began 0-1 and won its next seven games. It was their fourth consecutive road win this season.
Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott completed 21 of 27 for 247 yards and three touchdowns. He set franchise rookie records for touchdowns in a season (12) and completions (165). Hall of Famer Troy Aikman held the previous marks with nine touchdowns and 155 completions in 1989.
“I thought he was really efficient. We ran the ball well. We got a lot of stuff off the run. There are a lot of plays to be made out there in the passing game and he made them,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.
Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott had 18 carries for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Jason Witten led all receivers with eight catches for 134 yards and one touchdown.
“We did a really good job of playing complementary football on offense, the run and the pass, mixing the two,” Garrett said.
Defensively, the Cowboys controlled the struggling Browns with four sacks and third-down stops. Maliek Collins had two sacks. Cleveland was one of nine on third downs.
Cody Kessler completed 19 of 27 passes for 203 yards and one touchdown for the Browns (0-9).
Cleveland scored first on Cody Parkey’s 31-yard field goal.
One play before the field goal, a fight broke out between the Cowboys’ David Irving and the Browns’ Cameron Erving. Both were ejected.
“I don’t know all the details right now. We’ll find out more about that. Obviously, that’s not something you want to get involved in,” Garrett said. “It’s disappointing that both guys had to be ejected from the game. Our guys did a good job of responding. It meant more work for some of those other defensive linemen. I thought they rose to the challenge.”
The Cowboys scored on their opening possession with Prescott throwing a 26-yard touchdown to Witten, who made a club-record 155th consecutive start, to make it 7-3.
Early in the second quarter, Parkey’s 41-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright no good.
The Cowboys used the missed field goal to drive 69 yards in nine plays with Elliott getting the touchdown on a 10-yard run to make it 14-3.
After forcing a punt, the Cowboys scored again on a 6-yard pass from Prescott to Cole Beasley to push their lead to 21-3.
The Browns closed out the first half with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Kessler to Terrelle Pryor Sr, with 23 seconds to go to make it 21-10.
Dallas took the second half kickoff and easily marched to another score.
Elliott ran 8 yards for his second touchdown to push the Cowboys’ lead to 28-10.
The Cowboys began to spread the wealth as Prescott threw a 2-yard touchdown to backup tight end Gavin Escobar, his first catch of the season, for a 35-10 lead in the third quarter.
From there, the Cowboys simply kept the Browns at bay to close out the victory. Backup quarterback Mark Sanchez made his debut late in the fourth quarter in place of Prescott.