Browns' QB shuffle between Cody Kessler, Josh McCown

FRISCO, Texas -- The last time the Dallas Cowboys played at the Cleveland Browns, Derek Anderson was their starting quarterback in the 2008 season opener.

Since then, the Browns have used 18 quarterbacks. So far this season they have had six different players throw passes: Robert Griffin III., Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, Charlie Whitehurst, Kevin Hogan and Terrelle Pryor.

It’s not clear who will start against the Cowboys Sunday, either Kessler, whom the Cowboys coached at the Senior Bowl, or McCown, whom the Cowboys inquired about after Kellen Moore’s broken fibula in training camp.

There is a reason the Browns are winless.

NFL Nation reporter Pat McManamon offers up a scouting report of the Browns:


QB Cody Kessler — Kessler is the Browns' leading passer with 947 yards. He's a rookie taken before Dak Prescott. He started five games when Griffin and McCown were injured, completing 66.9 percent. His passing has been mainly in the short-yardage game, though. His arm is not the strongest and he's not the biggest quarterback. Kessler missed the loss to the Jets because he had not been cleared from the concussion protocol until Monday of this week. Hue Jackson has not committed to a starter, but there is some logic in giving Kessler the start. The Browns need the fullest picture of him possible as they assess what to do about the most important position on the team in the future.

QB Josh McCown — There's no doubt that McCown's veteran presence helps the offense. With McCown back against the Jets, the offense was able to run much more no-huddle, which Jackson has wanted to do since he was hired. McCown has as many touchdowns (4) in two starts as Kessler has in five, but he also has four interceptions compared to Kessler's one. McCown's rating is also 74.3 compared to Kessler's 94.4. The question the Browns must ask is this: Is it worth using a 37-year-old quarterback in an attempt to get a win or given the record should the Browns simply play young players to see what they have?

WR Terrelle Pryor — Pryor showed the good and the not-so good in his game against the Jets on Sunday. He caught six passes for 101 yards, but ran an improper route on a second-half throw that led to an interception. He also had two drops -- three if a catch when he dove and missed the ball is counted. Pryor has immense talent and ability, but is learning as a receiver. He provides the offense its best chance for big plays and he can go get the ball, but he needs consistency.


LB Jamie Collins — The Browns pulled off a surprise deal on Monday when they acquired the talented linebacker from the Patriots. The Browns love the fact they were able to add a player like Collins, who has immense athletic ability that must be channeled into a football system. How much he plays against Dallas remains to be seen, but given the Browns' struggles defensively it would seem like they would need Collins on the field as much as possible.

CB Joe Haden — Haden returned from a strained groin muscle and returned to his role of shadowing the opposing team's best receiver. On Sunday, that assignment was Brandon Marshall. In the first half, Marshall did not have a catch. In the second half he rebounded with four catches for 68 yards, a pretty good half against Haden. Haden's assignment this weekend figures to be Dez Bryant. Bryant missed three games because of a knee injury, but returned Sunday night to catch four passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.

NT Danny Shelton — The NFL's leading rushing team? The Cowboys, who are averaging 164.9 yards per game. Ezekiel Elliott has 799 yards and is averaging 5 yards per carry. This would not seem to bode well for the Browns' defense, and it would seem to ask a lot of Shelton, whose job in the middle is to do what he can to stop the run. Shelton's task this weekend is formidable.