Unlike past weeks, the secondary was not where the Browns struggled most in Sunday’s drubbing. Still, missed tackles and numerous instances of blown coverage defined a miserable effort.
Besides Witten, who as previously mentioned dominated the Browns, the Cowboys did not do a whole lot of damage through the air. Cole Beasley was the next best receiver, followed by Terrance Williams. Other than those two though, Cleveland did not allow multiple receptions to another Dallas receiver. Joe Haden shut down Dez Bryant, and Brice Butler was also surprisingly held in check.
While this is a credit to the unit, it must be remembered that the Cowboys only attempted 22 passes as opposed to 42 runs. When Dallas did throw the ball, they still had a reasonable amount of success over the middle of the field, an area which the Browns focused especially on containing.
More importantly, the Browns’ secondary missed a slew of tackles. While they got contributions from Tracy Howard, Ibraheim Campbell, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, and even Ed Reynolds II, they didn’t get solid tackling. Howard especially missed tackles on Elliot when he got to the secondary, and Witten also shed several possible tacklers on his way to an enormous afternoon.
Of course, the Browns are undersized in the secondary, and lack experience. While this is an excuse that does warrant some understanding, it is not acceptable for the secondary to blow coverage at any time. The Browns must improve, and must overcome the urge to make excuses.