Case in point: Brandon Weeden's 17-yard touchdown pass to Ben Watson that handed the Browns a 20-17 fourth-quarter lead came with just nine Cowboys defenders in the huddle. As the play began, cameras caught a Dallas safety and nickel back darting onto the field, but they arrived too late to make a difference.
Former NFL coach Tony Dungy wasn't impressed.
"Again, not being able to do the ordinary things," Dungy said on NBC's pregame coverage of "Sunday Night Football," via The Dallas Morning News. "They're trying to protect a four-point lead with 1:10 to go, and they can't count to 11 and get 11 guys out there. They created this problem themselves just not being able to line up.
"It's not that hard, man," Dungy said, but this is the type of play we've seen before from the Cowboys. It was a sloppy game Dallas nearly dropped to a two-win team.
The Cowboys remain in the playoff picture with a 5-5 record. Stranger events have occurred than a team like Dallas -- faults and all -- going on a run, but the Cowboys aren't a serious threat until they learn how to get out of their own way.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.