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Stats & Info preview: Browns at Cowboys

11/17/2012

The Dallas Cowboys have a chance to get back to .500 with a win over the Cleveland Browns though quarterback Tony Romo will have to curb his interception habit at home this season. Romo has thrown an NFL-high 10 interceptions at home, including nine in his last two games. At home this season overall, the Cowboys have a minus-9 turnover margin, and only the Chiefs (minus-13) have been worse.

Here five other statistical areas to watch Sunday:

• The Cowboys have limited the number of pass rushes with five or more defenders this season, and their pass rush has been more effective as a result. The Cowboys allowed a league-high 13 touchdowns when using such pressure last season, but have allowed only three this season. If the Cowboys send extra pass-rush pressure, Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden has proven susceptible to it. Weeden has the NFL’s lowest Total QBR (14.2), and is averaging 5.5 yards per pass attempt against five or more pass rushers lowest in the league.

• Cleveland rookie running back Trent Richardson has rushed for 100-plus yards in each of his last two games, and he has done it between the tackles. Richardson has gained 505 of 575 yards rushing this season between the tackles. When Richardson is on the field and running effectively, the Browns protect the quarterbacks better as well. The Browns allow a sack once every 35.3 dropbacks with Richardson on the field, 18.0 when he goes off it.

• The Browns have struggled to throw the ball downfield this season. Weeden has completed just 7-of-36 passes thrown more than 20 yards downfield, though four of those completions have been for touchdowns. Only the Bills’ Ryan Fitzpatrick (18.2 percent) has a worse completion percentage on such throws than Weeden this season.

• Romo has gone 5-of-7 on throws more than 20 yards downfield in his last two games after going just 7-of-30 in his first seven games. Last season, Romo had the second-best completion percentage (53.2) on such throws. The Browns have only allowed 13-of-44 passes (29.5 percent) throw 20 or more yards downfield to be completed against them.

• Romo has thrown four touchdown passes when outside the pocket this season, tied for most in the NFL. The Browns have allowed just one touchdown outside the pocket this season and have two interceptions on such pass attempts.