ARLINGTON, Texas – All games have those plays that can be easily lost between the plenty of highlights that occurred on Sunday.
The Browns were able to outlast the Cowboys for a 49-38 win at AT&T Stadium. Here are the five plays you can't forget about that played a big factor in the outcome.
- Jaylon Smith face mask penalty – The Browns were behind the chains after a holding call put them at first-and-20, and the Cowboys held Cleveland to a short gain on first down. But Jaylon Smith was flagged for a personal foul facemask penalty that gave the Browns a first down at the Cowboys' 42-yard line. The Browns continued the drive with passes to Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry that led to a touchdown to tie the game, 14-14.
- Third-down pass to Landry – After an Ezekiel Elliott's crucial fumble near midfield in the second quarter, the Browns took no time in marching down the field, thanks mostly to gashing runs. However, after two straight incomplete passes, the Cowboys had a shot to hold Cleveland to a field goal attempt, but Baker Mayfield hit Landry in the right flat for a 11-yard gain and a first down at the Cowboys' 12. Moments later, Kareem Hunt scored to give the Browns a 14-point lead.
- Pollard drop – While it ended up decent on the stat sheet, Tony Pollard's game wasn't the best from start to finish. His second-quarter drop proved costly as the Cowboys were down by 14 late in the second quarter. Pollard was wide open over the middle and completely dropped a pass that likely would've been a first-down gain inside Cleveland territory with 5:13 to play. The Cowboys ended up punting and the Browns got a field goal. Had Pollard caught that, it's likely the Cowboys at least get a field goal and probably don't give the Browns time for one in return. Instead of being down 31-14, it could've been 28-17 and that's a different game.
- Fourth-down failed conversion – When you're down by 24 in the third quarter, which is technically still a three-score game, it's hard to fault the coaching staff for going for it on fourth down from the Cleveland 33-yard line. The Cowboys elected to pass and Dak Prescott's attempt to CeeDee Lamb was incomplete. However, when you think how the game played out, maybe a field goal right there would've been the right choice. Still, it would be a 50-yard attempt by Greg Zuerlein, but had they made it there, it's 38-17. And the Browns likely don't have good field position to go down and kick a field goal instead. Things might've been different at the very end of the game when the Cowboys were able to cut the lead to three and had to try another onside-kick attempt.
- Onside kick with 3:42 remaining – At this point in the game, the Cowboys needed the ball back so the attempt at an onside kick shouldn't be overly criticized. However, it did give the Browns the ball at midfield and allowed them to be rather aggressive with a reverse run to Beckham, who scored a touchdown. If the Cowboys just kick it deep, the Browns have to be a little more passive and with a timeout and the two-minute warning, the Cowboys had a shot to get the ball back only down three points.
The Cowboys are back at AT&T Stadium next Sunday, October 11th to take on their rivals, the New York Giants. A limited number of tickets are on sale now. Get yours now before they sell out!
Details on all of the health and safety procedures you can expect at AT&T Stadium this season can be viewed at www.DallasCowboys.com/safestadium.