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NFL Beat Week 4: Ed Werder

Front Row begins a weekly series with ESPN NFL reporters who take you inside their upcoming game assignments. Ed Werder is covering the Browns-Cowboys

In this vintage photo before the COVID-19 era began, Ed Werder (center) is keen on recording Dallas Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones. (Ed Werder/ESPN)

Every NFL Sunday, ESPN reporters help fans get to know players and teams better. Front Row will help you get to know the reporters better and what Sundays are like for them.

This week, Front Row checked in with 22-year ESPN reporter Ed Werder, who will be covering the Cleveland Browns-Dallas Cowboys game in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, Oct. 4. Werder and his fellow reporters will share the latest NFL insights and information from around the league on Sunday NFL Countdown (10 a.m. ET, ESPN) and Fantasy Football Now (10 a.m. ET, ESPN2) prior to the games.

WEEK 4 NFL REPORTER ASSIGNMENTS

Jeff Darlington: Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay
Sal Paolantonio: Baltimore at Washington
Dianna Russini: New England at Kansas City
Michele Steele: Indianapolis at Chicago
Ed Werder: Cleveland at Dallas

If you were able to travel to the game with any player or coach, who would it be and why?
[Browns wide receiver] Odell Beckham Junior. I would be curious to know how he truly feels about the Browns and his role in the organization with first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski.

What is the first thing you’ll do when you get to the stadium?
Once I complete the Covid-testing procedures, I will meet with my producer and crew in our live shot location just above the field, make final changes to any reports and be on the lookout for [Cowboys offensive tackle] Tyron Smith to warmup to determine whether he’s playing.

What are the most essential items you have on hand?
Since reporters aren’t on the field pregame this year, I’ve learned I need binoculars to better identify players during warmups, particularly while attempting to learn the game-day status of injured players from our live location or the press box.

What are the top three storylines you’ll be reporting on?

  • Do the Cowboys change their approach and focus the offense more on [running back] Ezekiel Elliott to shorten games and protect the defense?
  • This is the first week the Cowboys defense is not playing against a former Super Bowl quarterback; how does [quarterback] Baker Mayfield perform against them?
  • Can [Browns defensive end] Myles Garrett exploit a Cowboys offensive line that’s been playing backups at offensive tackle or does Smith’s return from a two-game absence make the difference?

What should fantasy football players consider?
The Cowboys have had 100-yard performances from four different wide receivers. They lead the NFL in yards after the catch. Only the Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons defenses have allowed more touchdown passes.

What is your go-to stadium snack?
At Cowboys home games, the Peanut M&Ms seem hard to resist during four quarters of football.

Ed Werder has covered the NFL for ESPN for 22 years. (Ed Werder/ESPN)
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