This week I’m going to skip the recap of the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles game because that has already been completed by the “SportDFW Staff.” This week, Cowboy fans (actually) look forward to the Cleveland Browns, who kick off a three game home stretch. Notably, the Cowboys only have two more road games to play: one in Cincinnati and one in Washington to end the regular season. Bluntly put, the Cleveland Browns QB Brandon Weeden has been awful in every regard: he ranks dead last in average QBR (behind such stalwarts as Mark Sanchez and Blain Gabbert.) While our Fansided sibling the Dawg Pound Daily said Brandon Weeden was “obviously” a candidate for midseason MVP for the Cleveland Browns, they also put up their kicker Phil Dawson, so obviously pickings are slim. The Browns simply don’t compete very well at anything. They rank in the bottom ten in rushing yards, passing yards allowed and rushing yards allowed, and they are 19th in average passing yards. Despite everything I just said, they will be a tougher match up than the numbers suggest, evidenced by the fact that the Cleveland Browns have lost all but one of their match-ups by ten points or less. However, they haven’t won a game away from home this year, so this week’s match-up should help the Dallas Cowboys get to 5-5.
News and Notes:
- The Browns’ Defensive Tackle Phil Taylor will play. After injuring himself doing chest pressesin the locker room, Taylor returned against the Ravens. While he didn’t put up monster numbers (he only recorded 1 tackle),that really isn’t his job. As Jabaal Sheard, a rookie Outside Linebacker, explained, Taylor’s job is to force double teams so Sheard and other players can get one-on-one match-ups on the outside. As a Right Defensive End, Sheard will battle Tyron Smith which is a much better match-up for the Cowboys than him going against Doug Free.
- Not really important but still pretty funny: Phil Dawson, the kicker, averages more points per game than the quarterback. Kickers leading the team in points isn’t unusual, but counting passing touchdowns,it is. In other words, since Brandon Weeden has thrown for 9 touchdowns in nine games, he averages six points per game, which is 1.4 points per game lower than Phil Dawson’s. To put this in perspective: In Green Bay, the difference between kicker Mason Crosby’s points per game total and QB Aaron Rodgers’ is -11.03 points per game.
The Dallas Cowboys rush for over 130 yards. That’s about the amount of yards the Cleveland Browns give up every game (2.2 more actually), and the Cowboys are nothing if not a frustratingly average team with flashes of brilliance. While the Cowboys’ closest comparable, the Bengals, only rushed for 80 yards the first game and 76 the next, DeMarco Murray might be back and should help better those numbers considerably. If he doesn’t come back, however, I don’t think the Cowboys will top 95 yards rushing.
If you start Eli Manning every week in your fantasy league, Tony Romo is the guy you want to sub in. If my quarterback is out, I should put in my backup! Great advice! While stating the painfully obvious should give you an opportunity to consider me an idiot, what I’m saying is that if you’re in the lucky ten percent that has Tony Romo as a free agent, you should think very strongly about picking him up over whoever else is on your bench. Eli Manning, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder and Russel Wilson all have bye weeks, but you probably only have the first one on your team, so if you don’t have Eli Manning on your team, congratulations, you just wasted 20 seconds of your time. For the very small niche to whom this topic still applies, you could do a lot worst than Tony Romo. Basically, all of the players you would want to start played easy opponents and all of the viable bench players (save for Tony Romo and Andy Dalton) don’t. Other possible bench option: if you’re lucky enough to have RGIII as well, take your pick-they both should do pretty well.
The Dallas Cowboys defeat the Cleveland Browns 24-17. Like the Cowboys, the Browns play up to better opponents. Since the Browns are awful in nearly every regard, that means they play better than expected versus everyone, and luckily for their fans they don’t have to experience the flip side-crushing disappointment or nail biting- like we do. Of course, the fans also rarely get to celebrate a victory, but honestly I don’t know which is worse, knowing your team is going to lose, your team losing, but being pleasantly surprised they hung on as well as they did or seeing pure talent on the field with new ways to squander it. Having lived both sides of it over the last two years, I’ll say the second one, but at least my team can still make the playoffs. Anyway, poor defense and an inept offense doom the Browns to a tantalizingly close score but they lose, we bite our nails against an “easy” opponent and the cycle repeats itself throughout the season,