Top 4 defenses on the Cleveland Browns schedule in 2024 ranked

Which defenses will give the Browns trouble in 2024?
Cleveland Browns
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3. Dallas Cowboys

In Week 1, the Browns will have quite the test. The Dallas Cowboys are easy to make fun of since Jerry Jones does some off-the-wall stuff — like doodling on a notepad to emphasize his commitment to winning and his belief in Dak Prescott while doing all he can to avoid paying his star quarterback and signing no free agents.

Even with Jones doing all he can to turn the franchise into a sideshow, they're a very good team that has won 12 games three years in a row. Much of the attention goes to Prescott and the offense but the defense has been the catalyst as of late.

After hiring Dan Quinn as the defensive coordinator in 2021, the Cowboys finished seventh, fifth, and fifth in points surrendered. They still gave up a lot of yardage in 2021 (finished 19th) and were outside the top 10 in 2022 (12th) but last year, they were fifth in yardage as well.

It might be tempting to assume they'll take a step back this year since Quinn left to take the head coaching job with the Washington Commanders. He even took a couple of key defenders as they Commanders signed Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler, Jr.

Counting them out, however, would be a mistake. Dallas did a terrible job in searching for a new D-coordinator, failing to even cast a net. That's the same thing they did when they hired Mike McCarthy but he's led them to a record of 42-25 with a winning percentage of 62.7. He also gets a bad rap but in his career, he's now 167-102-2 (62 percent) which is almost identical to Sean Payton (160-98, 62 percent) and he has a mroe recent Super Bowl than Payton — proof that narrative matters more than facts in the NFL.

Having said that, Dallas might have lucked out with Mike Zimmer. It wasn't a conventional hire but he knows defense and has had a lot of success in his career. He also still has Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, Trevon Diggs, and DaRon Bland — so this defense can still be great.