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Cowboys vs. Browns: Jason Garrett trying to cut down on penalties

Head coach Jason Garrett is trying to make sure his defense stops jumping offsides this week in practice.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The Dallas Cowboys have a chance to get back to .500 and keep their playoff hopes very much alive with a home game against the mostly punchless Cleveland Browns scheduled for Sunday. Mental errors have been costly for the talented Cowboys, though, something head coach Jason Garrett understandably wants to get under control, writes Carlos Mendez of the Star-Telegram.

Garrett specifically worked on making sure his defense stops jumping offsides. Quarterbacks in practice this week have been throwing a lot of hard counts at the defense, says defensive end Jason Hatcher:

"It was a lot of them, man. We need it. ... We need to get it down so we can be more disciplined out there. There was a lot of them. I caught myself flinching a little bit out there. Luckily, I didn't."

Hatcher had two offsides penalties called against him on the opening drive in last weekend's win over the Phildelphia Eagles, something he admitted was "ridiculous:"

"It was just one of those things. When you play the Philadelphia Eagles, you just be all riled up. You just try to go out there and make a big play, kind of spark the team. That was my thinking. I was trying to jump the snap count. Didn't work out."

The Dallas Cowboys are tied with the Washington Redskins as the most penalized team in the league, averaging 8.3 penalties accepted against them per game.

The Browns and Cowboys meet Sunday at noon in a game televised by CBS.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.