FRISCO, Texas – Playing without starting defensive backs Barry Church and Morris Claiborne, the Cowboys allowed 62 yards on the first three plays and a field goal on the opening drive this past Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
Over the Browns' final seven possessions, they scored seven points and gained 160 yards in a 35-10 loss to the visiting Cowboys.
"I thought we did a really good job on defense of playing team defense," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said Monday.
The Cowboys' "team defense" has moved into 10th in total defense, yielding 332.9 yards per game. They're also one of two defenses in the NFL that have allowed no more than 23 points in each game this season.
The secondary stepped up Sunday without Church and Claiborne: the Browns' talented receiving duo, Terrelle Pryor Sr. and Corey Coleman, combined for only eight catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. The defensive line pitched in with a season-high tying four sacks.
In addition to a season-low 222 yards, the Browns were only 1-of-9 on third down.
"During the week our coaches get us prepared really good, so when it's game day it slows down for us," said rookie Anthony Brown, who played more snaps with Claiborne sidelined.