Cowboys vs. Browns Preview

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The Dallas Cowboys host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at 1:00 pm eastern, as the Cowboys look to gain ground on the division leading Giants at home, while the Browns look to continue to develop their talent on offense. The game will be shown on CBS.

Why you should watch: After a convincing win in Philadelphia last week that kept the Cowboys’ playoff hopes alive, Dallas turns its attention to Cleveland’s rookie duo of Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson. Weeden has struggled this year, but has largely been victimized by weak wide receiver play and dropped passes. Richardson has lived up to the hype as the first running back taken in last year’s draft, and will look to continue his stellar season against Dallas’ defense. Tony Romo hopes to pick on a better than advertised Cleveland defense, as DeMarco Murray is not expected to play.

What to watch for: In this matchup I’ll be focused on how Tony Romo plays at home in a game the Cowboys are favorites in. He has thrown 10 of his 13 interceptions at home this year, and the Browns secondary is strong, especially after the return of their top cornerback Joe Haden. Cleveland’s offense can be very anemic, so Tony will certainly have his chances to either win or lose this game. With Dez Bryant and Miles Austin at his disposal, Tony has play makers to get the job done, but that was also true for most of the other home games where he struggled. If Tony Romo succeeds, the Cowboys will too.

Key matchups: Joe Haden vs the Cowboys’ receivers. Haden will spend most of the game on Dez Bryant, as Miles Austin works out of the slot a lot and Bryant is more explosive. Haden can make life tough on any receiver, and the Browns’ defense has shown great improvement since his four game suspension ended. Haden can lure Tony Romo into making bad decisions, and can help put the Browns in good field position on offense. If Bryant can get the better of Haden, the Cowboys will be in the driver’s seat of this game.

The Pick:  The Cowboys will win this one big, asserting themselves and firmly planting themselves in the discussion of potential playoff teams. Brandon Weeden has not looked great on the road, and he will turn the ball over to give the Cowboys more chances on offense. Dallas will get the win and will force everyone to view them as a playoff contender once again.

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