Friday, November 16, 2012

Boomer Report: Looking back on the past & Previewing the present

Browns RB Jim Brown #32, looks for running room,
in Cleveland's 48-7 victory in 1960 over the winless (0-11-1)
Dallas Cowboys in the Cotton Bowl (stadium).
The Cleveland Browns & Dallas Cowboys, as hard as it may seem, use to have themselves a little rivalry from the late 1960's to the mid-1990's. Looking back at the past and previewing the present.

As most of us know, now a days, the two teams, the Browns in the AFC North and the Cowboys in the NFC East, meet up once every four years. However, if I were to ask my dad about the two teams and the battles between each other, he would have a couple memorable games, that he could recall from back in the day. From 1966 to 1994, the two teams played each other 16 times, including three NFC Divisional Playoff games (Cowboys holding a 9-7 advantage, with the Browns winning two of the three playoff games). In a 1994 meeting down in Texas, the Browns managed a 19 to 14 upset victory over the two-time defending Super Bowl Champions, sending a certain 8-year old jumping for joy in front of the television screen, after the Browns stopped the Cowboys at the 1-yard line on the games final play. Browns kicker Matt Stover kicked four-FG's in the win (OH! a Browns placekicker kicking multiple FG's in one game, thats rare, HAHA!). 

Fast forward to the present day, and the Browns and Cowboys have meant up three times since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in August 1999, saw the Browns win a 20-17 OT thriller, Then again in 2004 down in Texas, the Cowboys held on late to win 19 to 12, after a failed onside kick by the Browns in the closing seconds of the game. On that play, the Browns 1st round draft pick, TE Kellen Winslow Jr., broke his leg, trying to recover the kick and was lost for the remainder of the season (it was Week 2!). Once more in 2008, the two teams played each other, this time up in Cleveland, with yours truly in attendance. The Cowboys handed the Browns a disappointing season-opening 28-10 loss, kicking off a 2008 season that saw the Browns win just four games, after winning 10 the previous season. The Browns, since their return to the league have only been to the playoffs once, as for the Cowboys, they have only won ONE playoff game post-glory days of Aikman, E. Smith, and Irvin. The two fan bases can only wait and see if another playoff rivalry comes about in the future, which would mean the only way that is happening if the two teams got to the Super Bowl, haha. I guess, I will just have to settle for seeing the two teams face each other every four years.

The Browns, fresh off their Bye Week, look to pull off
the upset on the road vs. the Cowboys.
Game Preview: Cleveland Browns (2-7) at Dallas Cowboys (4-5)

With the Cowboys, coming off their win in Philly over the Eagles last week, keeping alive their chances of getting into the NFC playoffs, can't afford a loss to the Browns this week down in Jerry's World. The Browns, making their first trip down to Dallas since 2004, will get a chance to see what it's like to play for the first time in Cowboys Stadium. Now, the Browns fresh off the Bye Week and the Cowboys potentially looking ahead to their Turkey Day game vs. their divisional rivals the Washington Redskins, have a chance to pull off the upset. History is not on the side of the Browns however, losers of their last 11-straight road games, and a two-game skid vs. the Cowboys since their return to the league in 1999. I'm interesting in seeing what the Browns worked on over the Bye Week, and their play on defending the Cowboys offensive attack. The Browns chances in this one consist of two things that need to happen. First, getting presser on Cowboys QB Tony Romo, who leads the NFL in interceptions thrown (13) this season. The second thing, would be finding the end zone, as the Browns have scored only ONE touchdown in their last two games. Rookies Brandon Weeden & Trent Richardson, will be the two main guys in getting the Browns into the end zone vs. a Cowboys defense that ranks 8th in the NFL in passing (214 ypg) and 13th in rushing (105 ypg). The Browns come into this one, heavy underdogs (DAL by 9), but have been in every contest this season down to the very end. Getting better as an organization means winning both at home and on the road, and for the Browns to turn the corner, they have to start winning games on the road. Why not start doing that by winning down in Dallas on Sunday. HERE WE GO, BROWNS, HERE WE GO!