The Dallas Cowboys got a slight break in the action in Week 9 of the 2016 NFL season with a game against the winless Cleveland Browns. Not surprisingly, the Cowboys had little trouble with the Browns, winning 35-10 to remain atop of the NFC with the best record in football. Here is a look at the Dallas Cowboys team grades for their win over the Cleveland Browns.
Offense: A+READ MORE: Invasive Beetle Attacking North Texas Ash Trees
This was possibly the best offensive performance of the year for the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, the Cowboys were playing the worst defense in the NFL in the Cleveland Browns, but everyone played their role to perfection. Quarterback Dak Prescott was almost perfect in this game, completing 21-of-27 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns. His quarterback rating was 141.8 and it was the best game of his young career.
The first Cowboys touchdown of the game saw Prescott hit a wide open Jason Witten, who ran untouched into the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown. The third touchdown saw Prescott hit Cole Beasley, who was standing alone in the end zone for another easy touchdown pass. By the end of the game, Jason Witten had eight receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown for his best game since he caught eight passes for two touchdowns in the opening game of the 2015 NFL season. It was also his first 100-yard receiving game since Dec. 29, 2013.
Add in great rushing by the Cowboys and this was an all-around game on offense. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 92 yards and two touchdowns and Alfred Morris added 56 yards in mop up time to give Dallas a total of 168 rushing yards in the game.
The defense only gave up a touchdown and field goal in the first half before shutting down the Browns completely in the second half. The touchdown was a great catch by Terrell Pryor Sr., who is having a career season. Pryor finished with five catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Cody Kessler only threw for 203 yards in the game and rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman finally got onto the field to finish with three catches for 41 yards.READ MORE: With COVID-19 Cases 'Skyrocketing' In Dallas County, Risk Level Bumped Up To 'Red'
Dallas shut down the Cleveland rushing attack. Duke Johnson Jr. led the team with 30 yards on five carries while starting running back Isaiah Crowell carried the ball six times for four yards. Dallas didn’t force a single turnover in the game and only reached Kessler once with no sacks.
Special Teams: B+
There wasn’t much work in this game for the Dallas Cowboys special teams unit. The Cowboys are still giving up too many yards on kick returns, with three kick returns averaging 17 yards per return. That doesn’t hurt against a team like the Browns, but the Cowboys need to work hard on their special teams. Dallas only punted twice, with a 37-yard average, one placed inside the 20, and the other only resulting in a two-yard return. Dan Bailey was not used in the game outside of his five extra points.
The Dallas Cowboys’ two touchdowns mentioned earlier, the passes to Witten and Beasley, are proof of the great coaching in this game. Both plays had receivers standing wide open waiting for passes, which all came down to route running and play calling. Dallas coached a perfect game on offense and while they didn’t get any flashy numbers on defense, the important thing is that they stopped the Browns on almost every drive.
With the Cleveland Browns knocked off in Week 9, the Dallas Cowboys have an NFC-best 7-1 record and remain undefeated on the road. Their only loss was the opening week game against the New York Giants that came down to a poor decision by Terrance Williams. Up next is one of the Cowboys’ greatest rivals in NFL history, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are 4-4 on the season and just got back quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It will be a tough road game for Dallas, but one that they have proven they can win.MORE NEWS: Juneteenth Now An Official City Holiday In Duncanville
Post Author: Shawn S. Lealos.