Lane Adkins: Right To The Point

Lane Adkins has watched and re-watched the Browns loss to the Cowboys, and he's none too pleased. The OBR football analyst lays out why the Browns lost, offering a view on the team's troubles with Dallas you won't find anywhere else...

- Inexcusable! That is my best description of the calamity witnessed at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. There were numerous issues on both sides of the ball, and no escaping the butt-whipping laid on the Browns in the 2008 season opener.

- The lack of a pass rush provided Dallas quarterback Tony Romo far too much time to survey the field and make plays. The Browns' defense offered little resistance with the cornerbacks playing off the ball and the safeties a little late in coverage, some of which is directly related to the pass-rush issues.

- Yes, the offensive line of the Cowboys is good and Romo makes them look even better, but the Cleveland defensive line -- outside of a few Shaun Rogers sightings -- was handled at the point of attack rather easily.

- The off-season was geared toward improving the overall quality and depth of the defensive line play. This defense played the run relatively well in the early portion of the game and faded late in the contest as the Cowboys simply wore down an over-matched Cleveland defense.

- Forced into blitzing to have an opportunity to get to Romo, that only served to expose the defensive backfield further as the blitz did not bother the Cowboys' offense.

- Much like the 2007 season, the Browns' defense -- mainly the safeties and LB's -- was unable to slow down the opposition's tight end. The plan was to bump the TE at the point of attack, which did not work as Jason Witten was running free in the secondary at will.

- The Cleveland corners were exposed on occasion during the contest. The starters didn't play poorly but were beaten on occasion, as witnessed by Brandon McDonald getting beat by Terrell Owens to the post. Backup Terry Cousin was beaten on a couple of occasions by both the TE and WRs. Playing off the ball, the Cleveland cornerbacks are going to give up yardage, and it didn't help this youthful area that the pass rush was nonexistent.

- Much like the 2007 season, Sean Jones does not play well going backwards or in coverage. Moving forward or toward the point of attack Jones is solid; backpedaling or in coverage Jones simply has been a step short or a split second late in recognition.

- Linebacker Andra Davis was active and played reasonably well against the Cowboys. However, the same cannot be noted about his LB mates as a whole as D'Qwell Jackson, Kamerion Wimbley and Willie McGinest were neutralized.

- In the first quarter, and with the Browns driving, it is inexcusable that Derek Anderson and veteran Hank Fraley muff a snap on a 3rd and 1 to go. The drive was stopped cold and the Cowboys scored on their next possession.

- Braylon Edwards dropping -- or shall we state missed on -- four passes, which helped stall the Cleveland offense that didn't need any negative energy on this day.

- Kellen Winslow came up huge early in the game. Coupled with the Cowboys playing the tight end a little tighter and Anderson pressing, Winslow became a non-factor as the game progressed.

- It was interesting to notice the Cowboys game-planned to stop the Cleveland running game to the left side of the set. Dallas flowed a body left often, and the Browns running game never could get a jump-start. While the left side of the line was adequate at best on this day, the right-side of the line, including the center, did not play well and were physically overmatched, both in quickness and muscle.


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