Browns vs. Cowboys: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

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Browns vs. Cowboys: Spread Info, Line and Predictions
Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Looking to build off their must-win victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys welcome the Cleveland Browns to town in Week 11. Cleveland (2-8) is looking to salvage its season as rookie first-round draft picks Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson both establish some momentum for 2013.

Still in the playoff hunt by a hair, the Cowboys (4-5) have a tall task ahead of themselves if they want to make a push for the NFC East-leading New York Giants, or do well enough for one of the NFC's wild-card spots.

It starts with the Browns, one of the more favorable matchups on the schedule the rest of the way. Tony Romo and the offense have been inconsistent for much of the season, but the Dallas defense has really come on the past few weeks, including two touchdowns against the Eagles.

Here's a look at everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup this Sunday, including spread information, a fantasy football primer and who wins when the final seconds tick away.

 

When: Sunday, Nov 18 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Where: Cowboy Stadium; Arlington, Tex.

Watch: CBS

Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket

Listen: Browns affiliates; Cowboys affiliates

 

Spread: Cowboys -8 (according to Bovada)

Dallas hasn't been particularly effective as a favorite this year, especially at home. But an eight-point spread is pretty forgiving against one of the league's lower teams.

With the weapons on offense far exceeding the talent Cleveland has on defense, and Dallas' defense playing lights out, I like the Cowboys to cover. It's the first step toward the postseason, so the Cowboys should come out motivated and ready to play. Of course, we've said that before about Dallas, and they proceed to put up stinkers. Proceed with caution, but Dallas should be a friendly play.

Who are you taking?

Submit Vote vote to see results

 

Over/Under: 43.5 (according to Bovada)

Despite only two wins, Cleveland has scored points at time this season. But it's Dallas that will threaten the 43.5 mark, likely by itself on offense. Take the over with confidence, as this Cleveland defense will pray for a shootout to hang in against Dallas, not a close defensive struggle.

 

Injury Report via CBS Sports (as of 11/15/12)

Cleveland

Pos

Player

Injury

Status

WR

Josh Cooper

Illness

Probable

WR

Joshua Cribbs

Wrist

Probable

CB

Joe Haden

Oblique

Questionable

LB

D'Qwell Jackson

Calf

Probable

WR

Mohamed Massaquoi

Hamstring

Probable

CB

Dimitri Patterson

Ankle

Questionable

RB

Trent Richardson

Chest, rib, finger

Probable

DT

Ahtyba Rubin

Calf

Questionable

DE

Frostee Rucker

Shoulder

Probable

CB

Buster Skrine

Ankle

Probable

S

Ray Ventrone

Hand, calf

Questionable

S

T.J. Ward

Hand

Probable

QB

Brandon Weeden

Groin, thigh

Probable

 

Dallas

Pos

Player

Injury

Status

LB

Dan Connor

Neck

Probable

CB

Mike Jenkins

Back

Questionable

S

Matt Johnson

Hamstring

Questionable

DE

Sean Lissemore

Ankle

Questionable

RB

DeMarco Murray

Foot

Questionable

TE

John Phillips

Ankle

Questionable

NT

Jay Ratliff

Ankle

Probable

RB

Lawrence Vickers

Knee

Questionable

 

Fantasy Football Start 'em, Sit 'em, Sleepers

Dallas TE Jason Witten — Start

Elsa/Getty Images

Witten is quietly third in the NFL in receptions. Take that in for a second, and include his slow start to the season after a spleen problem kept him from being a big part of the offense for the first two weeks.

Putting more and more toward his case for the Hall of Fame, Witten continues to be the security blanket Tony Romo needs. Play him with confidence, and enjoy the benefits of a near-guaranteed 10-point day.

 

Cleveland QB Brandon Weeden — Sit

Jason Miller/Getty Images

The rookie from Oklahoma State has had a rough go the last two weeks, throwing zero touchdowns and tossing turnovers in losses to Baltimore and San Diego. It won't get any easier against the Cowboys, who now boast one of the league's better secondaries.

Unless this is a bye-week necessity, sit Weeden straight down on your bench. He's not worth the risk of two or three turnovers, and you can do better.

 

Dallas RB Felix Jones — Sleeper

Despite Jason Garrett's confidence in DeMarco Murray, Jones will likely touch the ball 15 to 20 times this week. He's done well the past two, racking up 202 yards and a big touchdown in the win over Philadelphia.

If Murray is out (like many expect) Jones will be a nice flex play yet again. Even if Murray hits the field, Dallas won't risk his health with 30 touches. Sneaky play either way in your flex spot.

 

Key to Cleveland Win —Keep it close into the 4th

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

It's a well-known fact that Dallas hasn't been a good closing team under Romo. Even though Weeden is a rookie, he's going to have a chance to beat this Dallas team if Cleveland can get a few bounces to go its way.

A couple turnovers and a nice mix of Richarsdon and these receivers could mean trouble for Dallas late in this game. The Cowboys need to establish a lead and start to gain that killer instinct that good teams find for putting the nail in the coffin early.

 

Key to Dallas Win —No emotional letdowns

Every NFL team can win on Sunday. Jaimie Foxx helped prove that in his classic movie, Any Given Sunday. Coming off an emotional win on the road against the Eagles, Dallas can't afford to let sloppy play and turnovers keep them from winning this game in convincing fashion.

Garrett must get the troops ready to play, and not let the fact that Cleveland only has two wins stray eyes away from the ultimate prize—a win. Dallas needs to take one game at a time, starting in Week 11.

 

Prediction

Romo and this offense prove too much for the Browns, as Dallas takes a 14-point halftime lead and coasts to a win at home. Jerry Jones lives another day as a potential Super Bowl winner, for now.

Dallas 31, Cleveland 17

 

Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team. 

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