Cowboys vs. Browns final score: Cleveland dodges late-game heroics by Dak Prescott, who sets NFL record

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All eyes in Cleveland are on Nick Chubb going forward, but it turns out the Browns didn't need him to defeat the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Week 4. Entering as 4.5-point underdogs, they took it to the Cowboys early and often, leaving with a 49-38 victory to go to 3-1 on the season. Contrarily, the Cowboys find themselves now sitting at 1-3 to start the season, which is hardly what they were looking for in the first 25 percent of Mike McCarthy's tenure. It is, however, what the Browns were hoping for when they hired offensive talent Kevin Stefanski to lead the team.

The Browns hung 31 points on the Cowboys in the first half alone, and were aided by both the usual self-inflicted wounds by the Cowboys and also their own crisp play-calling that looked flat-out surgical for much of the game. That said, the scrappy Cowboys would not stay in their coffin, led by another gutsy late-game effort from Dak Prescott -- who has now thrown for more than 450 yards in three consecutive games. Prescott amassed a massive 58 attempts in his effort to will the Cowboys back from a canyon dug in the first quarter, and deployed his ability to run in timely situations, but a second historic comeback in 2020 was not to be. 

Prescott is now the first player in NFL history to surpass the 450-yard mark in three consecutive weeks. The Cowboys have themselves to blame for the loss, allowing nearly 50 points in Week 4 and a franchise-worst 146 points through four games. 

Was Prescott perfect? No, he was not. The defense, however, remains abysmal. 

Why the Browns won

The formula going into Dallas wasn't exactly a secret.

All the Browns had to do was force the giveaway-happy Cowboys into doing just that again this week, and to take advantage of the decision to start Terence Steele at right tackle in the absence of La'El Collins. It was a blueprint Cleveland executed to perfection -- forcing two fumbles and then scoring two touchdowns en route to at one point scoring 31 unanswered points. Baker Mayfield looked exceptionally comfortable in the pocket as he continues his budding chemistry with Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry, and the offense didn't miss a beat following the loss of Chubb to a knee injury in the first quarter. 

In a game where they entered as underdogs, the Browns took a bite right out of the Cowboys' throat.

Why the Cowboys lost

It's yet another week wherein the Cowboys couldn't get out of their own way.

The aforementioned decision to start Steele over Brandon Knight at right tackle will be questioned all week, and rightfully so, seeing as the latter is arguably better and the decision led to Myles Garrett landing his only two sacks on the day. Garrett wrecked the game early and helped dump ice water on a flaming hot Prescott -- who became disheveled over the next two quarters before again coming alive towards the back end of the fourth. A touchdown toss to Dalton Schultz followed an Ezekiel Elliott visit to pay dirt to make it an 11-point game, but it was too little, too late. 

Thanks to giveaways, penalties and another nauseating outing by most of the defense, a team that's shown they can climb out of any hole dug one that was just a smidge too deep to escape -- for the second week in a row.

Turning Point

Prescott blasted off to a 14-7 lead with the help of CeeDee Lamb and Co. and it looked like they'd rout the Browns, but Garrett had other plans. This strip sack instantly swung momentum and the Browns never looked back.

Play of the Game

With a 41-14 lead diminished wildly to only 41-38, the Browns had only three and a half minutes remaining to end the Cowboys once and for all, and the fact it was Beckham, Jr. -- who already had two touchdowns on the day -- was a twisting of the knife. This is basically a walk-off 50+ yard touchdown against a former NFC East nemesis.

Don't expect a change in Dallas

"Before Cowboys fans start in on wanting to fire DC Mike Nolan -- that's a guy Mike McCarthy will stand on the table for. He's going to put up for Nolan. He believes in him. That's not going to be a situation here Nolan gets thrown under the bus this early by a head coach." - Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports

What's next

The Cowboys now face an all-important divisional game against the New York Giants, while the Browns head home above .500 to host the Indianapolis Colts. 

Catch all the highlights and action from you might've missed in the live blog below.

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Season Leaders

passing
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J. Brissett596 YD, 4 TDS, 1 INT
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J. Brissett596 YD, 4 TDS, 1 INT
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C. Rush514 YD, 2 TDS
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C. Rush514 YD, 2 TDS
rushing
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N. Chubb62 ATT, 341 YD, 4 TDS
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N. Chubb62 ATT, 341 YD, 4 TDS
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E. Elliott40 ATT, 178 YD, 1 TD
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E. Elliott40 ATT, 178 YD, 1 TD
receiving
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A. Cooper19 REC, 219 YD, 2 TDS
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A. Cooper19 REC, 219 YD, 2 TDS
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N. Brown15 REC, 213 YD, 1 TD
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N. Brown15 REC, 213 YD, 1 TD
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