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November 18, 2012

Cowboys 23, Browns 20 (F, OT)

ARLINGTON -- It wasn’t as easy as expected, but the Dallas Cowboys avoided what would have been a crippling loss against the Cleveland Browns.

The Cowboys overcame a 13-point deficit, forced overtime in the final seconds of regulation and pulled out a 23-20 victory when Dan Bailey made a 38-yard field goal in overtime on Sunday afternoon at Cowboys Stadium.

Dallas improved to 5-5 and won consecutive games for the first time this season.

Things looked bleak for most of the day, though. 

Fresh off their 15-point victory at Philadelphia, the Cowboys came out flat. Tony Romo was under relentless pressure by the Browns defense, and the offense couldn’t get anything going.

Cleveland, meanwhile, grabbed a 13-0 lead in the first half. Brandon Weeden and Benjamin Watson hooked up for a 10-yard TD pass in the first quarter, and Phil Dawson made a pair of field goals in the second quarter.

It was a different story in the second half, as the Cowboys rallied back in it.

Romo orchestrated two TD drives in the fourth quarter. An 89-yard scoring drive was capped off by a two-yard run by Felix Jones, and the Cowboys took a 17-13 lead when Romo connected with Dez Bryant on a 28-yard TD pass.

On the ensuing drive, the Cowboys’ defense came up with what appeared to be the pivotal play of the game. Linebacker Anthony Spencer forced and recovered a fumble at the Cleveland 18-yard-line with 5:45 left.

But Romo fumbled the ball back to the Browns two plays later. Cleveland drove to the Dallas 1-yard-line, but failed to score with 1:42 left.

The Browns would get one more possession, and scored on their first play when Weeden found Watson open down the middle.

There was enough time left, though, for the Cowboys to force overtime. Bailey converted a 32-yarder to tie it at 20-20.

-- Drew Davison

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First off, I want to complain about the amount of blog articles on here anymore that are titled "Jerry Jones says....". It totals about half of all the blog articles since this latest squeaker win against the uppity brown baggers. I also saw on the Dallas Cowboys website or Fox Sports Southwest sports website, I do not remember which and I do not care to recall which, where Jerry Jones said after this same squeaker of a game win that he liked the way the OL played in this game! Are you kidding me?

That's the kind of football expertise you people are going to quote most times after 'Boys games from now on? Nope, I'm not even gonna bother reading anything football strategy/coaching/grading related that starts with "Jerry Jones Says...". I only want to read where JJ compliments his coaches & players on a hard fought game or talks Cowboys marketing or how he's improving the experiences for Cowboys fans at Cowboys Stadium or how he's got a new football uniform design for the 'Boys ready to drop in the near future, etc.... Now I realize Jerry is 'Boys Fan #1, but, we don't need him breaking down all the mechanical coaching aspects or game film after every game for us. Let me hear Red Garrett's circular glittering generalities at Monday media day Q&A's first. Let me hear more player self-reflections first. Then let us fans and Jerry have our say. Garrett, Ryan, Callahan, Players, Jerry, and finally fans in that order. When the situation warrants you can stick local law enforcement at the top of that list which is a horrible but all too common thing to say in Cowboys-Land. Strike that last sentence. It’s mean and unfair.

Now let me get to my piece about this latest super entertaining game against the team with the blank canvass for a football helmet design (and a blanker canvass for collective football brainpower)—you guessed it, The Brown Baggers. The Immortal Jim Brown could probably still start for that team. That says more about the eon-spanning athletic prowess legend of The Immortal Jim Brown than it does about the ineptitude of the latest iteration of the Brown Baggers. Even though Jim Brown was never a Cowboy, he’s still #1 on my list of favorite athletes of all time. When you see film of Jim Brown you suddenly realize you are watching a super-human who was yesterday’s equivalent of today’s 300lb Linemen in size who also had world-class sprinters speed and 5% body fat to boot! The world will never see another Jim Brown. Why? Because to duplicate Jim Brown today, you would need an athlete who stands about 6’5”, weighs 300lbs (w/ 5% body fat), and can run about as fast as Usain Bolt, and has a genius IQ. Never ever happen. Virtually impossible.

Now you may say, “Could Usain Bolt be THAT guy?”. Nope. After Bolt’s first hit from Gerald Sensabaugh that would be the end of Bolt’s football career. Let me say this again—what a hit Sensabaugh laid on that Brownies player. A clean hit too.

Oh, I forgot—my latest say about this latest ‘Boys game—it was incredibly entertaining and worth every penny of whatever you had to pay to get tickets to see it. Forget about the bumbling ‘Boys OLine. That’s really the only real main problem with this team right now—the OLine. You could also say the ‘Boys running game stinks—that’s the OLine’s fault. You could even say the passing game should have torn this Cleveland team apart—that’s the OLine’s fault. Yeah! Yeah! Bad routes by the receivers. I’ll give you that one, but half the time Romo never had the time to find anybody open. 7 sacks—that’s the OLine’s fault. I’m just thankful that Tony Romo is still somewhat healthy. He took a beating. Thank you ‘Boyz OLine! This current OLine is not playing with much leverage. I don’t know why. Is that Callahan’s fault? Yes it is. Callahan, I’m not happy with you right now. Do you know how to teach these guys a karate stance and footwork that can keep their attackers in front of them and teach them some Judo fundamentals about gaining leverage on your opponents? Now I’m not saying using Karate and Judo techniques to do something illegal like using a kick or bent knee to implode a guys knee. It’s about getting lower than your man and driving upwards on his chest and arms, not letting him drive you backwards as easily as is happening now. After you rise into your crouch stance after the ball is snapped instantly put the foot you kick the ball with(your favored side) about 1 or 2 feet behind the other foot. Keeping your feet completely parallel makes your base much weaker and you become easier, no matter how big and strong you are, to push backwards or sidestep. As for negating the quick side-to-side cuts or spin moves used to get around you about half the time—its legal for you to hit the guy on the side of his body (except the knee) to knock him off course. The non-parallel foot stance will help you react faster to that as well.

Anyway, players, thanks for a fun game. I know you are hurting so don’t let your pride keep you from going to the sideline every now and again for a blow (rest, breather, whatever smartypants!!!) during a game from now on if you need it.

As for the defense—pretty good game for you guys on that side of the ball. That last brown bagger TD was completely unnecessary and I again blame the coaches for not getting some of you in the right places. Are you just not listening to the coaches? Or are the coaches just not teaching you? I don’t know. I know Dware is hurting but the best balm for his wounds would be about 5 sacks in this next game. Spencer is playing at a level I’ve never seen him play before. He was all over the place and deserves credit for a lot even when he wasn’t directly involved in the tackles or sacks. He redirected and disrupted brownie players all day long. A real thorn or pest to them and any opponent of the ‘Boys. Ratliff kept getting in the QB’s face and tackling RBs all day long. The guy’s a load to say the least.

Well good night ‘Boys and all. See you on Turkey Day! I’m thankful for the continued health of the ‘boys players.

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