Skip to main content

Don't Forget About These Five Plays...

1. Anderson's Bobbled Snap
On the Browns' first offensive drive, they were just starting to show what made them an offensive power last season. Derek Anderson hit Jamal Lewis for 14 yards and then six more to Kellen Winslow Jr. The Browns were moving the ball, but faced a third-and-one at Dallas' 45. Anderson bobbled the snap and had to fall on the fumble for a one-yard loss. That stalled the drive, forced a punt, and let the Cowboys take over, which led to their first scoring drive.

2. Scandrick's Penalty
After the Cowboys marched down on their first possession for a Marion Barber touchdown, the Browns were trying to answer. But it appeared the Cowboys had forced another punt when Chris Canty and DeMarcus Ware stuffed an Anderson pass that fell incomplete. However, rookie cornerback Orlando Scandrick was called for an illegal hands to the face penalty, which extended the drive. Cleveland went on to tie the game on a drive that eventually lasted 16 plays, covered 78 yards and ate up nearly nine minutes of game clock. That penalty not only helped the Browns pull even, but got the Dawg Pound crowd back into the game.

3. Marion's Open-Field Jaunt
But just when it looked Cleveland had seized momentum in the second quarter, the Cowboys came right back. And after a penalty that forced a first-and-15, Marion Barber used a crushing block from Leonard Davis, who created a gaping hole, to easily weave his way into the secondary and rumble 23 yards to the Browns' 33. Just three plays later, which included a holding penalty, the Cowboys regained the lead on Romo's 35-yard strike to Owens.

4. Browns' Dropped Pick
Late in the first half, the Cowboys led 14-7 and were looking for more points. Romo had the offense in the red zone, but a forced throw nearly went the other direction. Romo fired a pass over the middle that was read perfectly by Browns linebacker Andra Davis at the 10-yard line. Davis stepped in front of Owens for what looked like an interception, but it fell right through his hands. Three plays later, Barber scored his second touchdown, giving the Cowboys a 21-7 halftime lead. Had Davis registered the pick, he likely could've returned the ball outside the 20, and possibly much further than that. The Browns might have had the chance to get into field-goal range.

5. Crayton's Deep Post
Only a 25-yard gain, but it kept the Cowboys rolling into Cleveland territory midway through the third quarter. Crayton ran a deep cross to haul in the pass from Romo, moving the ball to the Browns' 26. The most impressive part of the catch was the concentration Crayton showed in the middle of the field. Even with the ball in the air, Crayton looked away to get an idea where his defender was. Then he looked back, relocated the ball and hauled in the pass. The Cowboys scored just minutes later on an 11-yard run by rookie Felix Jones on his first NFL carry.

There were plenty of big plays throughout the game. These five probably won't land on any highlight reel, but they played a big part in setting up the ones that will.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.