The Cowboys did what they were supposed to do – they took care of business.
While some feared this visit to the winless Browns might be a trap game, Dallas was having none of that. They easily handled Cleveland, coming away with a 35-10 victory and moving into a tie with the New England Patriots for the best record in the NFL, each owning 7-1 marks.
The rookies again were outstanding, as quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott continued their record-setting pace. Prescott completed 77.8 percent of his passes for 247 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He now has two games with three scoring throws, a new Cowboys rookie record.
Elliott, who was enjoying a homecoming of sorts after starring at Ohio State, racked up 92 yards on 18 rushes, a 5.1 yards per carry average, with two touchdowns of his own. He would have easily surpassed the 100-yard mark again, but sat out most of the fourth quarter.
The big surprise, though, might have been the play of Jason Witten. The Browns had no answer for the veteran as the tight end hauled in eight passes for 134 receiving yards, the 21st 100-yard effort of his career but his first since the final game of the 2013 season.
On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys defense again played well, holding its opponent to fewer than 20 points for the fifth time this season. The Browns managed only 222 total yards and 12 first downs, compared to 423 and 29, respectively, for Dallas.
Cleveland, though, showed some fight early as on their first possession they marched 62 yards on six plays, the big blow coming on a 44-yard pass from quarterback Cody Kessler to running back Isaiah Crowell up the middle. But the Cowboys defense tightened up in the red zone, forcing the home team to settle for a 31-yard field goal.
But Dallas then held the Browns to just 65-yards combined on their next three possessions while the Cowboys offense, in turn, took over.
It started with Dallas' first drive, the sixth time in eight games this season the team has scored on its opening possession. Prescott completed all four of his attempts for 43 yards, the last of which went to a wide-open Witten on the left side of the end zone. The score was the 62nd of Witten's career, tying him for fourth among tight ends in NFL history. It was also the 10th touchdown throw of the season for Prescott, breaking the Cowboys' mark of nine set by Troy Aikman in 1989.
Dallas then proceeded to score on each of its two series in the second quarter, the first of which came thanks to a 10-yard touchdown run that saw Elliott dive for the pylon, the ball crossing the goal line just before he went out of bounds.
Thanks to some miscommunication in the Browns secondary, Cole Beasley then got in on the act as he scored the team's third touchdown, an easy 6-yard scoring catch to finish off a 67-yard drive. Up 21-3 at this point, the Cowboys were set on cruise control.
Maybe too much so, as the Browns reeled off a seven-play, 80-yard drive just before the half to reach the end zone for the first time, the score now 21-10 at the break.
But that was the wake-up call the Cowboys needed as they came out for the third quarter and promptly scored on their next two possessions. It started with Elliott finding the end zone again, rolling around the left end from 8 yards out. Now with seven touchdowns on the season, he alone has more rushing touchdowns that 18 teams had total heading into Week 9.
With Cleveland just having no answer for the Cowboys offense, even Gavin Escobar got into the act. The tight end hadn't caught a pass all season, but had his number called from the 2-yard line. Sure enough, there he was in the end zone with no defensive player within 10 feet of him, Dallas upping the score to 35-10.
From that point on, it was just a matter of running out the clock, which Dallas did, reeling off the final 7:48 of time in the game. Alfred Morris handled most of the carries in the fourth quarter and backup quarterback Mark Sanchez even made his debut for the Cowboys, completing his only pass attempt, which was an 8-yarder that came on a fourth-and-1 with just over a minute remaining in the game to wrap things up.
With the victory, the Cowboys stayed firmly in control of the NFC East and will now head to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers next Sunday at 3:25 p.m. CT.
Take a look at some of our favorite photos from the Cowboys 35-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns.