Wrap-up: Cowboys 23, Browns 20, OT
November, 18, 2012
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
Thoughts on the Cleveland Browns' 23-20 overtime loss at the Dallas Cowboys:
What it means: It's the same old story for the Browns, who continue to fail to finish off games. Cleveland couldn't hold a 13-0 halftime lead, or a 20-17 lead with 67 seconds remaining in regulation, extending its misery on the road. The Browns have now lost a franchise-record 12 straight games on the road, which is also the longest active streak in the NFL. The loss also drops the Browns to 2-8 and clinches their 12th non-winning season in 14 years since returning to the league.
Special teams lapse: The Cowboys' winning field goal was set up by a mistake by the Browns' punt team. Johnson Bademosi's missed tackle allowed Dwayne Harris to break a 20-yard return to the Cleveland 48-yard line. Six plays later, Dan Bailey hit a 38-yard field goal in overtime.
Secondary blowup: A Browns secondary that was playing without cornerback Joe Haden was exposed in the second half. Sheldon Brown was beaten by Dez Bryant on a 28-yard touchdown pass that gave the Cowboys their first lead (17-13) with 6:46 left in the game. A pass interference penalty on Buster Skrine, who replaced Haden, set up that score. Skrine was responsible for three of the seven penalties on the Cleveland defensive backfield. Brown's 35-yard pass interference penalty led to Dallas' game-tying field goal late in regulation. Skrine left the game late with a head injury.
Weeden delivers late in regulation: After throwing a poor pass that resulted in an incompletion on fourth-and-goal, Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden bounced right back and hit tight end Ben Watson on a 17-yard touchdown pass on his very next throw. It put the Browns back ahead 20-17 with 1:07 left in the game, a lead that the Cleveland defense was unable to hold. Weeden struggled with his accuracy and finished 20-of-35 for 210 yards. He also had a fumble in the fourth quarter.
Mr. Perfect: Phil Dawson continues to have a Pro Bowl-type season. He converted from 51 and 47 yards to remain perfect on the season. Dawson has connected on his past 25 field goals.
End of red zone drought: The Browns jumped out to a 7-0 lead by ending a streak of five straight trips in the red zone without a first down. Watson pulled down a high pass from Weeden in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown. It was set up by Chris Ogbonnaya's run that allowed the Browns to convert on third-and-1, a trouble spot all year.
Mixed results for defense: The Browns shut out the Cowboys for the game's first 40 minutes. Cleveland limited Dallas to 68 yards of total offense in the first half. It was the fewest first-half yards for the Cowboys since December 2007. After halftime, Tony Romo took advantage of the Browns' soft coverage, going 25-of-33 for 239 yards.
What's next: The Browns play host to the Steelers (6-3) on Sunday.
Final Miami 10 Buffalo 29 Final Jacksonville 10 Washington 41 Final Dallas 26 Tennessee 10 Final Arizona 25 New York 14 Final New England 30 Minnesota 7 Final New Orleans 24 Cleveland 26 Final Atlanta 10 Cincinnati 24 Final Detroit 7 Carolina 24 Final St. Louis 19 Tampa Bay 17 Final Seattle 21 San Diego 30 Final Houston 30 Oakland 14 Final New York 24 Green Bay 31 Final Kansas City 17 Denver 24 Final Chicago 28 San Francisco 20