IRVING - There were 148 plays in the Dallas Cowboys’ 23-20 overtime win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. And they needed 17 points in one of the weirdest fourth quarters the Cowboys have played in a while.
Think about it.
The game was lost, then it was won, then it was lost, then the Cowboys forced overtime before finally winning it.
Here are five plays that shaped the game:
Play: Brandon Weeden incompletion
Situation: Third-and-9 from Dallas 33
Score: Cleveland, 7-0
Time: 12:20 left in second quarter
Taylor's Take: Josh Cooper was wide open in the left flat against the Cowboys’ zone defense. All Weeden had to do was throw him a catchable pass and the Browns would’ve had a first down at the Dallas 15, at worst, and a chance to put the Cowboys in a two touchdown hole. Instead, he sailed a pass over Cooper’s head and the Browns settled for a field goal and a 10-0 lead.
Play: Orlando Scandrick personal foul
Situation:Third-and-8 from Cleveland 45
Score: Cleveland, 10-0
Time: 7:04 left in second quarter
Taylor's Take: Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan needed a stop because the way Cleveland’s defense was playing, a touchdown might’ve put the game out of reach. So he gambled and sent a blitz from the slot, something Orlando excels at doing. Scrandrick helped force an incompletion with his pressure, but he he hit Weeden on the head with his forearm resulting in yet another dumb penalty for this team. Given a first down, the Browns drove for a field goal.
Play: Brandon Weeden sacked
Situation: Third-and-9 from Dallas 41
Score: Cleveland, 13-0
Time: 10:31 left in third quarter
Taylor's Take: A touchdown on the opening drive of the third quarter would’ve eliminated what little running game the Cowboys had and made them one-dimensional. Dallas had to have a stop and on the biggest third down - at the time - of the game, DeMarcus Ware beat left tackle Joe Thomas off the snap and teamed with Jason Hatcher to sack Brandon Weeden and force a punt.
Play: Gerald Sensabugh forces fumble
Situation: Third-and-5 from Cleveland 12
Score: Cleveland, 13-10
Time: 12:54 left in fourth quarter
Taylor's Take: Trent Richardson had been running through Cowboys’ defenders all game, when he wasn’t making them miss. So when he caught a pass in the flat and nothing but Sensabaugh standing between him and a first down, no one thought he wasn’t going to get it. But Sensabaugh delivered a great hit, stopped Richardson in his tracks and forced a fumble that Cleveland recovered. The Browns punted and the Cowboys drove for the go-ahead touchdown.
Play: Kevin Ogletree draws personal foul
Situation: Second-and-6 from Dallas 24
Score: Cleveland, 20-17
Time: 1:03 left in fourth quarter
Taylor's Take: Romo needed to move the Cowboys at least 50 yards to get Dan Bailey a 49-yard field goal attempt. He has not missed inside 50 yards this season. Romo threw a pass behind Ogletree, who was running an out pattern toward the right sideline. Ogletree turned back to catch the ball, and T.J. Ward drilled him in the chest with his shoulder and dislodged the ball. It was a violent hit, but perfectly legal based on NFL rules. Still, Ward was penalized for unnecessary roughness and the 15 yards kick-started the Cowboys’ drive.
So what's your key play? Vote using the ranker above.