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Browns vs. Cowboys: Ahytba Rubin, Phil Taylor return as defensive line excels

The Cleveland Browns finally boasted a healthy defensive line on Sunday, and they managed to sack Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo seven times.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The Cleveland Browns couldn't come out with a win on Sunday, falling to the Dallas Cowboys 23-20, but it wasn't for a lack of strong play from their defense. More specifically, the defensive line was on point, and they were healthy for the first time this season.

Defensive tackle Phil Taylor missed the first eight games of the season, and then fellow DT Ahytba Rubin found himself injured right about the time Taylor returned to the lineup. On Sunday, they were part of a defensive line that sacked Dallas quarterback Tony Romo seven times.

As noted by Cleveland.com, five of those sacks came from the defensive line, as Rubin, John Hughes, Jabaal Sheard, Frostee Rucker and Juqua Parker all registered sacks. Linebacker Craig Robertson accounted for No. 6, while fellow LB Kaluka Maiava and safety Usama Young combined for the seventh.

On the field, the combination of Rubin and Taylor inside forced double teams and freed up guys like Sheard, Parker and Rucker on the outside, which was the plan all along. This unit might have been able to tip the scales in some of Cleveland's other close games this season, if only they hadn't been injured.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.