The Dallas Cowboys barely got by the surprisingly tough Cleveland Browns 23-20 in overtime over the weekend to improve to 5-5 on the season.  But, the win proved that the Cowboys still have a long way to go if they are even going to be mentioned as a potential playoff team.

Dallas Cowboys kicker, Dan Bailey kicked a 38 yard field goal in overtime to push the 'Boys to .500 record with 6 games left in the season.  What should have been a walk in the park for the Cowboys, ended up being one of those games where both teams had to grind it out.  In the end, it wasn't so much that the Cowboys won, but they got plenty of early Christmas gifts from the Browns secondary, who had at least 7 penalties that extended Cowboys' drives.  In fact, the last, a 35 yard pass interference penalty by Brown's cornerback, Sheldon Brown, was the nail in the coffin, putting the Cowboys in field goal range to tie the game and send it to overtime.

A win is a win, I guess, but the Cowboys are definitely not playing well at all.  I mean, give the Cleveland Browns credit, they came out to play and even built up a 13-0 lead at halftime.  But, the Cowboys were flat in all phases of the game.  The offensive line let Cleveland push them around like a bunch of sissies, sacking Tony Romo 7 times in the game.  They couldn't run, they couldn't pass, the defense couldn't get any pressure on a rookie quarterback, and frankly, they just looked like a team without any heart or urgency.

I don't know what the deal is.  Sometimes, they show flashes of a great team, and other times, look like the worse team in the NFL.  There is no consistency at all.

How can they improve?

I think it starts with the lineman on both sides of the ball.  The offensive line is horrible.  They couldn't block Stevie Wonder from getting to Romo.  And, the defense couldn't get pressure if the other players laid down.  In the first half of the Browns game, the Cowboys offense had maybe 70 yards of total offense.  Sure, they picked it up a little bit in the second half, but ended up with only 63 yards rushing all game.  If you are going to be a contender in the playoffs, that is not going to cut it.

Defensively, the Cowboys had their moments, but when you let a rookie quarterback have 3 days to throw the ball, you're defense may be in trouble. Brandon Weeden could have kicked back, watched a movie, shaved, or done whatever he wanted - the Cowboys defense couldn't touch him.

Both sides of the ball continue to be a problem for the Cowboys this year.  The good news is that they are 5-5 and in the weak NFC East.  The bad news, is that time is running out.

Will the Cowboys turn it up in time to get to the playoffs, or will the season end like years past - in a sea of disappointment?

Here's a video recapping the game against the Browns if you want to live through that painful win again.  The Cowboys have a short week and play the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Cleveland Browns Highlights