Week 11: Browns-Cowboys preview

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Cleveland at Dallas
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas- TV: CBS; DirecTV: 708
*TV announcers: Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
*Keys to the game: The Browns are young and showing signs of progress, but if they're going to be competitive against a prospective playoff contender on the road they must squeeze more out of their scoring opportunities. Cleveland has punched the ball into the end zone on only six of 18 red-zone trips. Rookie RB Trent Richardson should come off the bye week at full strength and can help the Browns control time of possession. But for Cleveland to pull the upset, QB Brandon Weeden must be more productive in the fourth quarter, where he has completed just 51 of 93 passes with three touchdowns and five interceptions on the season. Dallas found an effective ground game in Philadelphia last week, and it's no coincidence that QB Tony Romo played mistake-free football. His ability to extend drives will tax Cleveland's secondary, especially considering the Browns enter with a modest 17 sacks on the season.
*Matchup to watch - Browns WR Josh Cribbs vs. Cowboys WR Dwayne Harris: Both figure to play modest roles on offense, but could have major impacts on field position. Cribbs is one of the most dangerous return men in NFL history, while Harris has taken over the Cowboys' punt return job from Dez Bryant and turned in a 78-yard touchdown last week.
*Player spotlight - Browns DT Ahtyba Rubin: The Browns are allowing 132.2 rushing yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry. However, they could have Rubin and Phil Taylor in the lineup together for the first time this season if Rubin is able to return from a calf injury that has kept him out of three of the past four games. Cleveland could boast a good rotation with promising rookie DT Billy Winn.
*Fast facts: The Browns are 8-for-18 on third-and-1 this season. ... Romo has thrown two touchdowns and 10 interceptions at home this season.
There's no sugar coating it - Cowboys QB Tony Romo has been awful at home this season with 10 interceptions and a 60.7 passer rating in three games. Cleveland does bring a poor run defense to town and if Romo can get help from his ground game, he'll avoid those big turnovers and Dallas steadily pulls away.
*Our pick: Cowboys 27-20

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