CLEVELAND -- Head coach Hue Jackson pulled no punches following the Cleveland Browns’ 35-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday.
The Browns’ eighth coach since their return to the National Football League in 1999, Jackson told the media that if the team hopes to break a franchise record 12-game losing streak dating back to last December, he and the coaching staff must put the players in better positions to make plays.
“We did not play good enough,” Jackson said. “It starts with me. We have to coach better to get them to play better and put them in better situations.
“That is just what it is. It is unfortunate. There are some things that I know we can do better and we will do better, but there are things that keep rearing its ugly head. We just have to get it right, and I get it and we will keep fighting.”
Despite their rookie status, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott proved too much for the Browns to handle, and the Cowboys rode the successes of their first-year players to the 25-point win.
Prescott completed 21 of his 27 attempts for 247 yards and three touchdowns without an interception or fumble against the Browns. Elliott complemented Prescott’s performance with a 92-yard, two-touchdown showing on 18 carries.
Prescott’s three touchdowns went to three different players, tight ends Jason Witten and Gavin Escobar, as well as wide receiver Cole Beasley.
Although Browns rookie quarterback Cody Kessler completed 19 of his 27 throws for 203 yards with one touchdown, he got little help in the running game, as Isaiah Crowell gained just four yards on six carries and Duke Johnson accounted for 30 on five attempts.
“It starts with me,” Jackson said. “It starts with me. I want to make sure everybody understands that. It starts with me. It starts with me getting our players and everybody involved in this organization to do things right. We have to slow the run down, obviously, and we have to make sure that we control the other teams’ better players. Witten had a big game. We just have to get better in some areas, no doubt.
“It is not just about the defense. It is me. It starts with the coaching. It is a top-down deal. We are not going to go there. It is not just about that. No, we are not playing well. We are not playing well right now anyplace. It is not just defense. It is offensively and special teams. I am not just going to dump on one group. We have to play better as a team. We are not playing good enough, and that is what it is.”
Although the Browns suffered the lopsided loss to the Cowboys, they have no time to waste in beginning their preparations for an AFC North Division game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium Thursday night.
“We will bounce back,” Jackson said. “One thing about this group, and I think you guys still see it, they are not giving up. I want you guys to know that they are fighting and they are playing their tails off as hard as they can. We just are not doing it as well as I think we can. It is not effort related at all. Our guys will come in here, we will move on from this and we have to get ready for Baltimore.”