Bill Belichick was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns the last time they beat the Cowboys.
Like… the Patriots' head coach who has won six Super Bowls. It was 1994, Vinny Testaverde (!!!) was the quarterback.
Since then, the Browns have lost to the Cowboys four times, with Jeff Garcia, Derek Anderson, Brandon Weeden, and Cody Kessler all at the helm. Granted, they also didn't exist for a few years, but facts are facts.
Can Baker Mayfield win in his home state of Texas? Maybe? Probably not? Regardless, today is a pretty big game for the Browns and a massive "pretender vs. contender" moment for the team.
Despite the four-game losing streak, the Browns are actually up 17-14 in the all-time series, but it has been ugly as of late.
The Browns opened the much-hyped 2008 season, following a 10-6 non-playoffs season in 2007, against the Cowboys…
The 2008 season was an interesting one, to say the least. It was much like the 2019-2020 season, as the Browns had five preseason games and got dog-walked to open the season. Everything essentially went to shit a few weeks into the season and they've been virtually irrelevant ever since.
(Funny hearing current Barstool Sports personality clowning the Browns, rightfully so)
NOTE: The lines have changed since this graphic was made…
I just don't love taking the Browns today with a +3 line. A touchdown? Maybe. But the Browns are either going to win today or get blown out. If anything, hit them as a nice Moneyline dog, but for the sake of this section of the blog I will pick the Cowboys. In terms of the over, I expect a shit load of points, especially with how horrendous the Browns defense can perform. Expect Dake to carve them up today, and if the Browns sprinkle a few in, this over should hit with ease.
PICKS: Cowboys -3, OVER 56.5
SEASON RECORD: 4-2 (ATS: 2-1, O/U: 2-1)
OUT: Adrian Clayborn (DE), Greedy Williams (CB)
ACTIVE: Joel Bitonio (OL), Kareem Hunt (RB), Olivier Vernon (DE), Denzel Ward (CB), Jacob Phillips (LB)
This team just can't fucking stay healthy, which is especially hurting the defense. Pleasant surprise seeing Olivier Vernon active, but it is countered with the loss of Adrian Clayborn. A bunch of key names, such as Kareem Hunt, Denzel Ward, and Joel Bitonio are active, along with rookie wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones.
I am not sure how much a few of those guys will play, but good lord the defense (rookie LB Jacob Phillips playing would help) has to be better.
GREAT WEEK TWO WEEKS IN A ROW!?
The Browns rushing attack is the best in the NFL. I have no issue or hesitation saying this.
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are absolute monsters. Rushing. Receiving. They do it all, and they're a monstrous attack that the Browns roll out every weekend. But let's not sell the offensive line short, either, they've been incredible…
Wyatt Teller was probably the one name people questioned the most coming into the season, and he has been excellent.
The rushing attack can only exist as long as Baker Mayfield is efficient, though, like he was last week…
With the exception of a weird 3rd quarter last week where the Browns didn't really run the ball and worked out a bunch of empty sets deep in their own territory, the Browns were a machine and did everything they had to do thanks in large part to Baker Mayfield.
While everyone keeps focusing on shit like this so they can fire off some memes…
Baker Mayfield has quietly put together back-to-back efficient, improved weeks. I know they were against shitty ass teams, but he couldn't even do that well last year, so no complaints from me, man. If you toss out Week 1 (which I 25% do) due to the COVID offseason and no real games with the new offense, it's clear Baker is getting more and more comfortable.
The Cowboys defense isn't great, but they're better than the Bengals, and the Cowboys offense won't fuck over their defense (you'd think) like Washington did last week, so Baker is going to really need to flex his improvements.
I need to see the Browns fully commit to the run all game. So far, I like Kevin Stefanski. He has made some solid adjustments and really brought the right attitude to the offense. But that 3rd quarter last week was brutal, and he needs a damn good game today because the Browns don't have much margin for error. You have to expect the defense to crumble, so they may be playing from behind at points, and heavy passing games have been nothing but trouble for Baker and the offense.
If they can play their style? Today could be a good day. The problem is that they may not even have the chance to do it. Let's cross our fingers the defense allows the offense to do their thing.
This defense kills me, especially the secondary.
While Sendejo may not be to blame for this touchdown, he has definitely shouldered a ton of the blame for a unit that has been a fucking nightmare. Why hasn't Ronnie Harrison gotten more playing time? He came over in a trade from Jacksonville, but one would think he'd see the field more by now, maybe even a starting role.
With Greedy Williams out again, the Browns remain thin in the secondary, especially factoring in that Denzel Ward is still hurt.
Dwayne Haskins carved the Browns in a few spots last week when he wasn't throwing interceptions. Expecting Dak Prescott to do the same but without the turnovers, is probably smart.
I have no fucking clue how the Browns are going to stop the Cowboys today. None.
Last week Myles Garrett had another big strip sack…
…and he will need to be big again today because the Cowboys return Tyron Smith to the offensive line.
Seriously, I have no fucking idea how the Browns defense is going to stop the Cowboys today. Lucky turnovers? Mistakes from the Cowboys? I… I… seriously don't know.
I have no other comments or takes at this time.
It's all about the first quarter today.
There is a crazy stat somewhere (I can't find it, I searched for a half-hour) about Baker's success when throwing the ball either 30 or 35-plus times. Spoiler alert… they usually lose the football game.
The Browns have to get an early lead and run the air out of the football. If the Cowboys get control of this game early, the Browns are fucked, plain and simple. Maybe one day the defense will be good enough, but right now, they are not.
Here, enjoy some GoodNeighborStuff…
Kyle Mooney is a treasure.
Play well, please just play well. Control the tempo. Give us some hope? Maybe?
I just don't see it, though. They're not quite there yet.
PREDICTION: Cowboys defeat Browns, 34-24