Browns at Cowboys -- Nov. 18 -- 1:00 p.m. ET
The Cleveland Browns will make their first trip to the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, a few short days before the Cowboys play in their annual Thanksgiving Day game against the Washington Redskins.
It is the first time the Browns have played at Dallas since Sept. 19, 2004. The Browns lost to the Cowboys, 19-12, and despite their best efforts, could not make a late-game comeback. On a late onside kick attempt, then-Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., suffered a broken leg and was lost of the season.
The Cowboys entered the last week of the 2011 season with a chance to make the postseason, but a 31-10 loss to the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J., cost them a chance at their first playoff berth since the 2009 season. After making six straight runs to the postseason from 1991-96 -- including three Super Bowl championships -- the Cowboys have made it to the playoffs only six times in the last 15 years.
The Cowboys and Browns last played on Sept. 7, 2008, in the regular season opener for both teams. Dallas earned a 28-10 victory at Cleveland Browns Stadium and went on to post a 9-7 record that season.
In that game, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo completed 24 of 32 attempts (75 percent) for 320 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Romo connected with seven different players, including tight end Jason Witten (six catches, 96 yards) and wide receiver Terrell Owens (five, 87, one touchdown).
When Romo did not throw the ball, he handed off to Marion Barber and Felix Jones. Barber and Jones combined for 142 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries.
Conversely, Browns quarterback Derek Anderson completed 11 of 24 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown. Then-Cleveland running back Jamal Lewis gained 62 yards on 13 rushes.
The Cowboys converted eight of their 11 third-down attempts, while the Browns went just three of nine. Dallas gained 487 total yards on offense and limited the Browns to just 205, including 91 on the ground, as opposed to the Cowboys’ 167.
In 2011, Romo completed 346 of 522 attempts (66.3 percent) for 4,184 yards and 31 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Despite being sacked 36 times for 227 lost yards, Romo carried a 102.5 quarterback rating.
Witten was Romo’s top target, catching a team-best 79 passes for 942 yards and five touchdowns. Wide receiver Dez Bryant caught 63 balls for 928 yards and nine touchdowns.
Fellow wide receivers Laurent Robinson (54 catches, 858 yards, 15.9 yards-per-catch, 11 touchdowns) and Miles Austin (43, 579, 13.5, seven) also proved to be down-the-field threats for Romo.
Linebacker Sean Lee led the Cowboys defense under first-year coordinator Rob Ryan. Lee made 105 total tackles, 30 more than the second-best total on the team. He made 71 solo tackles and assisted on 34 others.
Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware led the team with 19.5 quarterback sacks. As a team, the Cowboys registered 42 sacks.
Lee also tied with defensive back Terence Newman with a team-leading four interceptions. Both men averaged better than 20 yards-per-return and Newman had team’s only interception return for a touchdown in 2011.
As a team, Dallas converted 78 of 198 third-down attempts, while opponents made 81 of 204 (39.7 percent) of their conversion opportunities. The Cowboys outgained their opponents 6,008 to 5,491 in total yardage and were plus-four in the turnover margin.
Browns offensive line coach George Warhop served in the same capacity with the Cowboys from 2003-04.
Browns players who are Texas natives include linebackers
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan held the same position with the Browns from 2009-10. Secondary coach Jerome Henderson served as the Browns’ defensive backs coach from 2009-11. Linebackers coach Matt Eberflus served in the same capacity with the Browns from 2009-10.
Defensive quality control/assistant linebackers coach Ben Bloom was an assistant for the Browns in 2009-10.
Cowboys defensive linemen Kenyon Coleman (2009-10) and Clifton Geathers (2010 training camp), defensive back Brodney Pool (2005-09) and fullback Lawrence Vickers (2006-10) played for the Browns.
Dallas players who grew up in Ohio include linebacker Alex Albright (Cincinnati/St. Xavier), center Kevin Kowalski (Bedford/Nordonia High School/University of Toledo), offensive lineman Bill Nagy (Hudson), and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (Columbus/Whetstone High School).
Defensive back Barry Church went to the University of Toledo.
The Browns are 15-11-0 all-time against the Cowboys dating back to the first meeting between the teams, a 48-7 Cleveland road win on Oct. 16, 1960. The Browns are 6-7-0 all-time in road games against the Cowboys.
The Browns are 1-4-0 in their last five road games against Dallas.
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