Browns set a new franchise record with their 12th straight defeat
CLEVELAND — Tony Romo will get more work at practice this week, moving the Dallas quarterback closer to his long-awaited comeback.
That day looks as far off as ever.
Until further notice, the Cowboys are Dak Prescott’s team. End of discussion.
Prescott threw three touchdown passes , maybe three of the easiest scores the rookie will have in his career, and Ezekiel Elliott ran for two TDs as Dallas won its seventh straight, 35-10 on Sunday over the hapless Cleveland Browns.
Prescott improved to 7-1 as a starter, and his latest performance has pushed Romo deeper into the background of what is developing into a special season for the Cowboys.
Following the game, Dallas owner Jerry Jones was peppered with the usual questions about a quarterback situation that may never reach controversial levels.
Prescott has the Cowboys rolling, and despite his love and loyalty toward the 36-year-old Romo, Jones, who has made rash decisions in the past, doesn’t appear ready to make any moves.
“We’ve got a great luxury and wonderful problem to have,” Jones said. “We’ve got some real talent at our quarterback position. I think Tony Romo is one of the best quarterbacks that has played this game.
“My real regret would be to have had him here and not win a Super Bowl with him. He’s that talented. And then I look at Dak and how he’s playing, his future.
“I just don’t have a problem with this situation.”
Romo returned to practice last week, and while his exact progress remains something of a mystery, Prescott has only strengthened his grip on the starting job.
The fourth-round draft pick completed 21 of 27 passes for 247 yards against the woeful Browns (0-9), who offered little resistance and are more than halfway to a winless season.
Prescott and the Cowboys built a 25-point lead after three quarters and coasted to their most lopsided win this season in front of thousands of Dallas fans, who invaded FirstEnergy Stadium and made the guys in blue and white feel as if they were home.
“It’s America’s Team,” Prescott said of the support. “I expect that everywhere we go.”
And it’s getting to the point where the expectations for Prescott are soaring as well. He broke a few more of Troy Aikman’s rookie passing records and showed uncanny poise for a player with only eight games under his belt.
“He doesn’t act like a rookie,” said tight end Jason Witten, who caught a 26-yard pass from Prescott . “He’s critical of himself when he makes mistakes. He takes ownership in it. Through eight weeks you look at what he’s done, it speaks volumes about him, his preparation and his ability to trust the people around him. He’s done a great job.”
Prescott looks as if he’s going to keep it for a while.
KESSLER INJURED: Browns rookie Cody Kessler passed for 203 yards and threw a 12-yard TD pass to Terrelle Pryor in his first game back from a concussion.
Kessler hurt his right leg in the second quarter, but finished the game and believes he’ll be ready to play Thursday night in Baltimore.
ZEKE THE FREAK: Elliott rushed for 92 yards and has 891 this season, the third most by a rookie in league history after eight games.
Only Adrian Peterson (1,036) and Eric Dickerson (995) have gotten off to a better start than Elliott, the former Ohio State star who enjoyed playing in front of some familiar faces.
“Ohio means a lot to me, kind of like a second home,” he said. “Just the memories I had here and the friends I made while at Ohio State and just the other things I accomplished at that great university. So it was very important for me to come here, have a good game and play in front of these great fans.”
BAD, BAD BROWNS: Cleveland is hoping to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in league history to go 0-16.
First-year coach Hue Jackson, who has endured several seasons worth of injuries, said his team’s problems are too numerous to single out one.
“It is not just about the defense,” he said. “It is me. It starts with the coaching. It is a top-down deal. 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.”
FIGHT CLUB: The Browns lost starting center Cam Erving on their first series when he was ejected for fighting with Dallas defensive end David Irving, who was also tossed. The two tangled away from the ball near Dallas’ sideline.
“I let my emotions get the best of me,” said Erving, who did not speak with reporter but provided a comment to a team spokesman. “I’ll learn from this mistake and put it behind me.”
For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP–NFL
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.