5 Keys to the game: Cleveland Browns vs. Dallas Cowboys

Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 06: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys runs with the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the game at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. Dallas defeated Cleveland 35-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

2. Blow up the Cowboys O-Line

One of the characteristics of the Cowboys may be that owner Jerry Jones literally loves his players, and the front office has to find ways to carry his favorites on long term contracts even when it’s perhaps not the smartest idea. Consequently, the salary cap has to be spread thin in a few places to create the cap space.

You may have noticed that Ezekiel Elliott has not been his normal Elliott-like self, averaging only 3.8 yards per carry this season, and 73 yards per game. Perhaps there’s a reason for this.

What may have happened is that the lack of cap space has caught up with the offensive line. They are going to have to handle Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon with players that Pro Football Focus ranks 49th and 69th best out of 72 NFL guard.

Only Zack Martin at right guard (the player who Stephen Jones practically forced his father to draft over John Manziel in 2014) ranks above average at 16th out of 78 graded guards.

If the Browns can locate a weakness on pass defense and exploit it, they can force quarterback Dak Prescott to throw on the run with a few guys with brown jerseys hanging on his arm. Prescott is fully capable of completing passes anyway in that situation, but perhaps they can at least keep his numbers down a little bit.