CLE 49, DAL 38: Cowboys Fall to 1-3 as Comeback Attempt Fails

The Dallas Cowboys are now 1-3 to start the 2020 season and Mike McCarthy’s head coaching tenure. They overcame a 31-14 halftime deficit to make it a competitive game, but came up short and lost 49-38 to the Cleveland Browns.

Dak Prescott threw for 502 yards and four touchdowns as the lone bright spot for Dallas today. That said, he did throw the game-sealing interception on the final drive and could have several more than Cleveland players dropped.

Another turnover came early in the game when Myles Garrett strip-sacked Prescott after easily beating a Terence Steele block. That play led to Steele, who started the game at right tackle, being benched for Brandon Knight.

The offense clicked much better after Knight came into the game. However, an Ezekiel Elliott fumble and a virtual no-show from the Cowboys defense allowed the Browns to build the early lead and make Dallas’ job too difficult in the second half.

Odell Beckham Jr. had fun day against his old rivals, scoring three touchdowns in his first game against Dallas since leaving the Giants. One of those scores came in the clutch; a 50-yard touchdown run that helped the Browns extend their lead after Dallas closed to within three points in the 4th Quarter.

This is the third-straight week now that the Cowboys have a dug a hole for themselves in the first half. They got away with it in Week 2 against the Falcons, but now Seattle and Cleveland have made them pay for the slow starts and turnovers.

Other Notes

  • I hope someone will ask McCarthy why they decided to go with Steele at RT today. Even the basement bloggers knew that Knight was the better option and it was immediately proven when he entered the game. The only reason I can fathom is that they were worried about Tyron Smith’s ability to stay in the game and hoped to minimize the disruption if he went out. But clearly, that would have been the lesser of evils.
  • Another benching seemed to occur early when Donovan Wilson came in at safety after Darian Thompson gave up one of the receiving touchdowns to Beckham. That’s a move the Cowboys must have been contemplating already as Wilson came in early and remained the rest of the way. He registered a sack a led the team in tackles, but also was on the wrong end of some Cleveland’s successful passes.
  • The defense got run over early with over 160 rushing yards from the Browns in the first half. Nick Chubb leaving the game injured didn’t change much as backup D’Ernest Johnson went for 95 yards on just 13 carries.
  • Amari Cooper has 12 catches for 134 yards and a touchdown as the leading receiver while CeeDee Lamb scored two touchdowns himself. We also Dalton Schultz put in another good game with 72 yards and a score.
  • The Cowboys’ drop to 1-3 but remain in a first-place tie with Washington in the comically awful NFC East. Washington lost today at home to Baltimore while the Eagles and Giants are still looking for their first wins of 2020.
  • Dallas will remain home next week as they host the Giants in their first division game of the season. If they can’t get a win in that one against one of the NFL’s worst teams, you have to wonder if Jerry Jones won’t be looking to make some kind of statement move to spark change,

What do you think?

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Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!


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  1. Watched a majority of this game and i have a few takeaways:
    1. This offense is so similar to last year. Dak has monster numbers but it means nothing. Hes getting a majority of these when were behind.
    2. The run-pass ratio is so off. Zeke needs to be fed more and we need to balance out and have time of possession in our favor.
    3. We have some fight in us for sure. If we can just use that fight in the first half to take our heart attacks away.
    4. Brandon Knight is the superior option to Terrance Steele. With Collins out the whole season he nrefs to start over the rest of the season.
    5. Every level of our Defense is horrid. Changes need to be made to for sure. Worley got beat alot today and shouldnt be starting. The DLine cant get any stops, pressure or sacks. The LBs are not all that great. At one point Cleveland had 10 yards a carry!!
    6. Diggs is about the only defender i like at this point. He does play hard and does a good job in coverage. Once he puts it together look out!
    7. Our ST was pretty crafty with the lock that almost stopped outside the end zone. I like our watermelon kicks!
    8. While we are 1-3, we are still currently tied for 1st place with Washington, with Philadelphia left to play tonight at SF. The season is not all lost and with vs NYG, vs ARZ, at WAS, and at PHI next we have a good chance to right our ship in the 2nd quarter of the season!

  2. Nice article haynie.
    LETS just say 49 points given to the browns out of all teams and at home is down right outrageously disgusting. After that pathetic excuse of a defense showing someone’s head has to role. We can’t say offense was superb with 500 passing yards. Simply put Dallas was down 41-14. Cleveland was on cruise control. Zeke had a couple of good runs but was a no show. If Prescott could learn to lead his receivers he could lead be even better than what he is. You see in most of the game the receivers are catching balls thrown mostly behind them. Prescott, good attempt even 3 consecutive 2 pt. Conversions just not good enough to bail out your defense.
    Is it time to get some secondary help? How about some lb help? Defensive line help? How about some coaching on that defense? From what I saw, they may as well stayed on the bench and let my son’s team play!
    So, the excuse is injuries. Well, that means it goes to coaching then. Injuries are apart of the game. U adapt and deal. Each side has 11 players on it. LETS GET it together defense. Smith,griffen,Lawrence,hill,diggs,woods all names I heard today. These were also names that were brought up to be the top defense that is going to hold somebody. 49 points. Curious, did we sign a dt named poe? How about that 9 million dollar player dallas loves in crawford? All of it again revolves around coaching.
    On another note as we see in this game yet again 1 player isn’t going to do the job. Is Prescott worth the money? I don’t care if he is or isn’t worth the money. I care about wins. I don’t care he throws for 500 yards and 5 tds. If it doesn’t result in a win it is nothing but a padded overvalued stat that is used to measure a value of a player. We struggle with salary cap each year. It is completely obvious that there are players on this team that are completely overpaid. Prescott can become an elite qb, he just isn’t there yet in his abilities. If u say 500 yards and 5 tds is elite, u need to look Harding at the game because he gets away with alot of bad throws because his receivers catch well then he collects the reward. Not saying he doesn’t make decent throws from time to time. I am saying he has excellent receivers that help his case. Pay the man don’t pay the man, I don’t care. LETS pay for players that win football games. DEFENSE ANYONE!!!

  3. Maybe their new lousy coach and his staff and the overhyped lazy ass defense should contact the Buffalo Bills or even Cleveland to find out how to play. BIG MONEY, BIG EGOS, BIG HYPE, BIG LOSERS. “Next years bride” still applies here. Only impressed a bit more than a handful of times since 1967. Sucking the air now, huh Mr. Jones? Get on the phone and call Earl! McCarthy was the worst choice that you could have made. McCarthy cannot handle the loser legacy that you created with big money for less than poor performance because he is a yes man!! Maybe try hiring a couch from high school because that is the level of how they play. Can you say 6 and 10? Oh and yes…since 1967. I should have went with Green Bay because everyone hated Dallas. Even the losers in Phillie are laughing. I know you don’t care about we the fans as long as we are buying Cowboy gear to increase the stock value. Let that be a warning to us all who blindly follow and are gullible.

  4. The Browns……. Seriously? I didn’t have a lot of confidence in our DC before the season started but was willing to give him a chance but now it’s apparent that the game has passed him by! It’s time to get somebody in there that can coach this defense up and try to make a couple of stops a game to give us a chance to win! One good thing is that everybody in the NFC East is terrible so maybe just maybe we can hold on until we find a way to start winning some games! One other thought……Let’s don’t start saying that injuries are to blame ! This is the NFL these guys are the best athletes in the world when somebody goes down it’s the next man up! So that is where the coaches come in and coach and teach and put these guys in the position to win! Even the Eagles won yesterday with a kid off of the practice squad beating a team that came close to winning a SB last year! How about NO MORE EXCUSES!

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