The Cleveland Browns are back Sunday afternoon, taking on the Dallas Cowboys at home. Here are four things we are watching for during the game.
1. Jamie Collins’ Browns debut
Following what was considered the biggest deal of the league’s trade deadline, Jamie Collins is set to make his Browns debut.
Collins, the Pro Bowler who led New England in tackles in 2014 and 2015, figures to play a key role on Cleveland’s defense moving forward.
“He will play all over for us,” defensive coordinator Ray Horton said Friday. “He is a joy to watch move around on the football field and [has] range, and so he gives you the ability to do a couple things and put different people on the field, different packages because you have to account for him to be different places.”
Collins, who was acquired from the Patriots in exchange for a conditional draft pick, said Wednesday he’s trying to embrace his new home in Cleveland.
2. Slowing down Zeke and the Dallas run game
Behind perhaps the best offensive line in football, rookie running back and former Ohio State star Ezekiel Elliott has emerged as one of the league’s top offensive threats.
Jackson made as much clear Thursday, saying he followed Elliott’s career with the Buckeyes.
“He is one of the best runners in the league right now and deservingly so. He is a high draft pick playing with a good offensive line, so I would expect nothing less than that,” he said, adding Elliott's strength and balance make him hard to bring down.
“I think he has a burning desire to be really good,” Jackson said. “I know my time visiting with him that is what I found. He is very engaging that way, and I think he wants to be good, too, and he is on a good team.”
Elliott has rushed for 799 yards and five touchdowns this season.
3. Pressuring Dak
Much like Browns rookie quarterback
Referencing Prescott’s breakout season, Jackson laughed on Thursday and said, “Oh my god, he’s playing extremely well. He is a young ascending player, plays with a lot of poise, runs their offense extremely well.
“He has done a great job. Obviously, Tony Romo isn’t playing,” he continued, “so I think they found the right guy for their offense and fits what they do, and he has done it extremely well.”
Last week, however, Prescott struggled against a tough Eagles defense, completing 49 percent of his throws and tossing an interception. He and the Cowboys were able to win in overtime, but if the Browns can apply similar pressure Sunday, they might be able to fluster Prescott.
After missing the past six weeks with a broken hand, rookie receiver Corey Coleman is set to return against his hometown team.
The last time we saw the first-round draft pick from Baylor was when he caught five passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns against the Ravens in Week 2.
Can Coleman pick up where he left off? He seems to think so.
“I expect to pick right back up,” Coleman said. “(The team has been) doing an unbelievable job, the way they've handled the situation when I was out, the way the process they had a plan for me that was really good.”