They told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “We have to get better,” said linebacker Willie McGinest. “We got our butts beat today. That was a good lesson.”
Injuries were the reason the Browns all but admitted they tanked the preseason. Most disrupted their high-powered offense, and a surprise scratch of receiver Donte Stallworth in pre-game warmups added to the discontinuity.
“We played like we hadn’t played together in two or three weeks,” said running back Jamal Lewis, stating a fact.
But the defense — the relatively intact unit — sent out S.O.S. signals with a horrendous first outing.
The multi-dimensional Cowboys hit the Browns for 487 yards and 30 first downs. Tony Romo was intercepted once in the end zone and ended the game by taking a knee at the Browns’ 13 — else this whuppin’ would have been worse.