The Cowboys advanced in the playoffs and look to make it two in a row as they take on the Rams this Saturday in Los Angeles. Here’s a look at how the Cowboys offense matches up against the Rams defense.
Running Game- Dallas has to establish the run to win this game. The team looks more than ready to do just that after giving Zeke 26 carries against the Seahawks in the wild-card win last week. Elliott ran hard and kept the chains moving, finishing the day with 137 yards and a TD.
The Rams defense allowed 122 rushing yards-per-game this season, which is high considering how much teams had to try to play from behind. You could even say the Rams are soft against the run. They gave up a whopping 5.1 yards-per-carry which was dead last in the league.
Los Angeles allowed four 100 yard rushers this season and those guys aren’t exactly household names. Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Jordan Howard, and Alfred Morris all went over the century mark against this defense. Zeke is a man amongst those boys, and Dallas needs to feed the NFL rushing champ.
Passing Game- Dak Prescott has been on fire. Since week twelve, Prescott is completing 71.3% of his passes and averaged 282 yards-per-game. During that span, he has 12 TD’s to only 4 Int’s and the Cowboys are 6-1.
Amari Cooper has turned this passing game around. He’s one of the best route runners in the league and just worked the Seahawks for 7 catches for 106 yards. Rookie Michael Gallup had a solid rookie season and scored a nice TD against the Seahawks on a fade route. If the Cowboys take a deep-shot Gallup might be able to win on a double move.
The Rams have two solid corners in Aquib Talib and Marcus Peters. Peters is a known ballhawk who will take some risks and try to jump a route. His play has slipped some this season and the Boys might be able to get behind him. Talib, a Dallas native, has battled through injuries but he is a savvy vet and always shows up ready to play.
Nickell Robey-Coleman is one of the better slot corners in the league with a grade of 82.6 from Pro football focus. Cole Beasley is dealing with a foot sprain and gutted it out last week, but didn’t practice on Wednesday. If he can’t go on Saturday look for Tavon Austin to man the slot.
Key Matchup- The Rams Defense stops and starts with Aaron Donald. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year just had an even better season in 2018. Donald racked up 20.5 sacks and was a unanimous First Team All-Pro pick. He can single-handedly wreck this game if Dallas doesn’t game plan effectively.
Conner Williams had a good game last week filling in for an injured Xavier Su’a-Filo at left guard. He will get a huge dose of Aaron Donald in this game and the Cowboys will need to give him some help. Look for Joe Looney to double team Donald as Dallas will want to limit the snaps where Donald and Williams go one on one.
Bottom Line- The Cowboys are 10-0 when scoring twenty or more points. The Rams can be gutted by the run especially if the Cowboys don’t have to play from behind. If the Boys can neutralize Aaron Donald with either Zack Martin or double teams, they can open up running lanes for Zeke and give Dak enough time to pass in the pocket. If 20 points is all it takes to keep this streak alive, bring on the Saints or Eagles.
Now you know Broe @broeham