The Dallas Cowboys are staring at a 1-2 record as they welcome the Cleveland Browns into town this Sunday.
The Browns currently sit at 2-1 with wins over Cincinnati and Washington and a blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Sunday is their chance to make a statement in a big way in AT&T Stadium, as Baker Mayfield looks to prove that he is the quarterback capable of taking the Browns to the next level.
Cleveland has no shortage of talent on the offensive side of the football: headlined by their running back one-two punch of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and their wide receiver duo of Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Chubb and Hunt form the NFL’s top running back pairing, while Beckham has elite potential and Landry has proven to be a reliable option in the slot.
With the way the Cowboys secondary has performed through three weeks in the 2020 NFL season, that cannot make Cowboys fans feel very good.
The Dallas Cowboys defense has given up big plays in the passing game.
Dallas has struggled to prevent explosive passing plays through the first three weeks of the season. Granted, the Cowboys have faced some pretty good quarterbacks in those three weeks: Jared Goff of the Rams, Matt Ryan of the Falcons, and then Russell Wilson of the Seahawks.
Both Ryan and Wilson, especially, found success in attacking the Cowboys defense down the field. Both the Falcons and the Seahawks averaged over 11 yards per completion in week two versus the Cowboys, Ryan passing for 273 yards and four scores on 24 completions and Wilson totaling 315 yards and five touchdowns on 27 completed passes.
Some of that is bound to happen considering how talented Ryan and Wilson are combined with the wide receiver corps that both squads have on the roster. Atlanta features Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage in addition to Hayden Hurst at tight end, and the Seahawks bring D.K. Metfcalf and Tyler Lockett to the table.
The Browns will be looking to capitalize on the Cowboys’ weaknesses.
As mentioned earlier, the Browns have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball. Odell Beckham is regarded as one of the best wideouts in football when he is on his game, and Kareem Hunt is one of the best receiving backs across the league. Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant, and David Njoku provide Mayfield with quality options at the tight end position as well.
Mayfield has had an up and down start to his career with the Browns, but he still has the ability to hurt the Cowboys on Sunday. The Austin, Texas, native is athletic enough to move around and scramble while keeping his eyes down the field for an open target to launch the ball to.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 27, 2020
The Cowboys have to stay disciplined and not allow Browns receivers to run open behind them while Mayfield moves around in and out of the pocket. Unfortunately, we have seen multiple receivers — Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst, Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf — run free versus the Cowboys in recent weeks.
Sunday has the makings of another high-scoring affair involving the Dallas Cowboys. While the offense should get theirs, the defense will have to prove that they can get off the field and prevent a team with several playmakers from putting together explosive plays.
Featured image via Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports