Browns vs. Cowboys: Storylines to the game

By Stephanie Storm
Beacon Journal sports writer

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1. When lame duck Browns President Mike Holmgren left the door open to coaching again in the NFL during an Oct. 23 news conference, he left himself open to speculation as to where that next job might be. As the Browns came off their bye week and began to prepare for the Cowboys, they were greeted with a report that Holmgren would be interested in coaching the Cowboys job if coach Jason Garrett was removed from those duties. Holmgren denied that he has expressed an interest in the Cowboys job. But Holmgren also never ruled out that he would be interested if the job became available.

2. The Browns offense could be in for a long day in facing Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, linebackers coach Matt Eberflus and secondary coach Jerome Henderson. All three men are former Browns coaches — Ryan (2009-10), Eberflus (2009-10) and Henderson (2009-11) — and will undoubtedly have something special cooked up for the inexperienced Browns.

3. Playing in Dallas is a special homecoming for Browns kicker Phil Dawson, a Dallas native who grew up with a Cowboys “Doomsday Defense” poster hanging on his bedroom wall. By Wednesday, Dawson said he already had 30 friends and family planning on attending the game. Dawson also played at the University of Texas, where he was a first-team All-American as a senior in 1997.

4. Browns players have heard their share of stories about the bigger-than-life video board and female pole dancers at new Cowboys Stadium. But it’s a totally different thing to actually experience the Dallas sideshow — all while trying to play a professional football game. Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor blew off the idea that he and his teammates could be distracted by one of the largest video boards in the world — 180 feet wide and 50 feet high — by suggesting, “You see one, you’ve seen them all.” But perhaps the Browns will quickly realize that in Big D, size does matter.

5. In addition to the defensive coaching connections between the two teams, former Browns players who now play for the Cowboys include fullback Lawrence Vickers (drafted by the Browns in 2006 and spent five years with the team) and defensive end Kenyon Coleman (played two seasons with the Browns and is on the Cowboys’ injured reserve list). ... Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has ties to Northeast Ohio. While growing up, his father, Jim Garrett, served as an assistant coach (1978-84) under coach Sam Rutigliano. During that time, Jason Garrett attended University School in Hunting Valley.

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