Keys to the Week 9 clash with the Cowboys
Even if the Browns can surprise many by playing a solid game on offense and defense, they still may not be able to get over the hump against a very formidable opponent. This is why it is paramount for Cleveland to find an advantage over Dallas some other way.
One way the Browns could do this would be by winning the turnover battle. This, however, is unpredictable and hard for a team to control at times. What Cleveland would be better off focusing on is field position.
In the past three weeks, the Browns have suffered from poor field condition offensively. This is often due to their defense which usually bends but often doesn’t break. A punt from midfield is common, pinning the Browns deep. Eventually, this catches up.
Fortunately, the Cowboys also play a style of defense which allows opponents yards and oftentimes first downs. If the Browns can take advantage of this and grasp what is given to them, they could find themselves improving in the area of field position.
For a team that has struggled to close out games, strong field position down the stretch is necessary in order to pull off a victory. Also, with a rookie quarterback who has been a victim of long fields, beginning closer to an opponent’s territory would maximize his ability as well as the playbook.
Field position doesn’t come easily. Still, it should be a point of emphasis for the Browns this week, along with a more productive offense and more aggressive defense. If the team plays a clean game in all other areas and makes a few extraordinary plays, they could clinch themselves a long-awaited number “1” in the win column.