The Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys tangle in what is the game of the week for the NFL for week one at Browns Stadium Sunday afternoon. Dallas is looking to make its mark and put its stamp on being the best team in the NFC, while the Browns want to take another step and overcome the Steelers as the best in the AFC North.
Cleveland enters the game banged up, as star players like Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards will play, but may be less than 100 percent. Their secondary, which has not played well in the preseason, likely will be without starting safety Brodney Pool, and Sean Jones, the other safety, is coming off an injury as well.
The Cowboys with a star-studded lineup will attack Cleveland through the air with Tony Romo looking a lot for Terrell Owens and TE Jason Witten. You may even see Patrick Crayton as the second WR get in the action with some big plays. Look for Marion Barber and Felix Jones to try and attack the outside of the line of scrimmage on runs, as the Browns front four is better than it was a year ago.
Cleveland will need all it can get on offense, and their O-line, which is another unit that has struggled this summer, needs to step up and play well. Jamal Lewis has a hamstring issue, so the team may not only look to him, but backup RB’s Jason Wright and James Harrison to keep the Cowboys offense off the field. The Browns also may be without special teams ace Josh Cribbs, who has an ankle injury.
In the end, this game will come down to the Cowboys being the healthier, more explosive team. T.O. should feast on either Browns CB – Eric Wright or Brandon McDonald, and the team that many felt would be the NFC team to represent the Super Bowl last season will start 2008 with a convincing road win.