Cowboys vs Rams: The Dallas Cowboys got a home playoff game, and they managed to best the Seattle Seahawks to advance to the divisional round, where they will face the completely stacked Los Angeles Rams. The Los Angeles Rams were the best team in the NFL through the first half of the season. They rolled to an 8-0 record and looked like they would dominate throughout the rest of the year.
The Dallas Cowboys come into this game having edged out the Seahawks in the Wild Card Round, hanging on for a 24-22 victory.
Ezekiel Elliott had a huge outing, rushing for 137 yards against a tough Seattle run defense—a similar or better effort here can be expected.
The Rams allowed a league-worst 5.1 yards per carry this season, and if they can’t come up with a better effort here, it could lead the way to a Dallas upset.
If the Cowboys can give Elliott similar rushing lanes in this game, that should make it much easier for quarterback Dak Prescott.
Prescott threw for 3,885 yards and had a 22-8 TD-interception ratio this year, and his productivity picked up after the Cowboys added wideout Amari Cooper prior to the trade deadline. Cooper has speed, excellent hands and the moves needed to make big plays, and he could be a big factor for the Cowboys.
The Dallas defense will be tested by Goff, Gurley and wideouts Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks. The key to slowing down the Rams attack will be the amount of pressure the Cowboys put on Goff.
Dallas narrowly avoided an upset against the Seahawks, winning that game, 24-22. Dak Prescott made a huge play with his legs in the fourth quarter, while weapons Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper both had good games. Dallas was trailing going into the fourth, but scored two touchdowns to hold off Seattle, who scored a touchdown of their own with under a minute to go. They could not, however, secure the onside kick, giving Dallas the win.
Prescott finished that game 22-for-33 for 226 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 29 yards and a touchdown, while Cooper caught seven of his passes for 106 yards. Elliott carried the ball 26 times for 137 yards and a touchdown.
It was something of an uneven season for the Cowboys, who at times looked quite unlike a playoff team but who ultimately pulled it together in the latter half of the season. They started the season with a 3-4 record, but after the bye week won seven of their remaining nine games.
The Rams loaded up on talent this offseason, bringing in multiple big-name free agents and securing several big trades. Offensively, Jared Goff looks like a star, as evidenced by his 32 touchdowns and 4,688 yards this past season. Todd Gurley had 1,251 rushing yards to go with 17 rushing touchdowns.
But on defense is where the Rams get scary. Aaron Donald is a machine that cannot be stopped under any circumstances, and paired with guys like Ndamukong Suh, Dante Fowler Jr., and defensive backs Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib — that defense is just downright scary.