The Los Angeles Rams (8-5) faced a hot Seattle Seahawks (10-3) in a 28-12 trouncing. The loss knocked the Seahawks down to second place in the NFC West, moving the San Francisco 49ers (11-2) to first place after they beat the New Orleans Saints (10-3).
Now, the Rams face the Dallas Cowboys (6-7), whose record does not reflect their tenacity and talent. The Cowboys are coming off a loss to the Chicago Bears (7-6), who dominated most of the game. Dallas fought hard to rally back in the fourth quarter, but the Bears came away with a 31-24 win.
The Rams will travel to AT&T Stadium hoping to stay in NFC Wild Card playoff contention with a win over the Cowboys. The Rams and the Cowboys shared an identical record with similar circumstances in the first six weeks of the season. Both teams started strong at 3-0 and then became 3-3 after embarrassing losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets, respectively. Dallas also had close games resulting in losses to the Saints and Green Bay Packers. The Rams lost to the Seahawks and the 49ers. Both teams continued the same path winning their next two games and going one-for-two in the following matchups. Since then, the Rams have won their last two games and the Cowboys have lost their last two. Dallas, ironically even with a losing record, still has a playoff spot in the NFC East.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott currently boasts better numbers than Rams quarterback Jared Goff, but Goff has beaten the Cowboys in the last two meetings, including their divisional playoff game in January last season. Against the Bears, Prescott had 27 completions on 49 attempts for 334 yards and one touchdown. He was also sacked twice. So far this season, Prescott has 325 completions on 496 attempts for 4,122 yards and 24 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. He also has 223 yards rushing with three rushing touchdowns.
Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott had a solid game with 19 carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns against Chicago. He has 246 carries for 1,071 yards and nine touchdowns in 2019. Elliott also has 338 receiving yards with one touchdown.
Cowboys receivers Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper will be a challenge for the Rams defensive back corps. Cooper leads in receiving with 70 receptions for 1,054 yards and eight touchdowns. Gallup has 55 receptions for 905 yards and three touchdowns. Look for Rams cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and Troy Hill to step up again for big plays and tighter coverage.
Against the Seahawks, Goff had 22 completions on 31 attempts for 293 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. He was never sacked in the game. For the season, Goff has 305 completions on 484 attempts for 3,712 yards and 15 touchdowns with 14 interceptions. He also has two rushing touchdowns.
The Rams offense will see a familiar face on the Cowboys defensive line. Defensive end Robert Quinn, who played seven seasons with the Rams, leads the Cowboys with 9.5 sacks. Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth may have the responsibility of blocking Quinn. Whitworth has had great success recently with pass protection. The entire Rams offensive line has been strong the past two weeks. Goff was sacked only once at Arizona.
Rams receivers Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Josh Reynolds should deliver again like they did against the Seahawks. Kupp still leads the Rams in receiving and will most likely break 1,000 yards after facing the Cowboys. He has 77 receptions for 990 yards and seven touchdowns. Kupp only had four catches for 45 yards and one touchdown against Seattle. Woods had seven catches for 98 yards and one touchdown.
Rams running backs Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown each had one rushing touchdown last week. Los Angeles would be wise to continue the ground attack, similar to what they did last year or even last week. Gurley had 79 yards rushing against the Seahawks. He has 177 touches for 721 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
The Cowboys will be dealing with a reinvigorated Rams team that has won by large margins in their last two meetings. The Rams need to be careful not to be overconfident. Good communication will also be key to the offense’s success. Miscommunication between Goff and Woods caused a pick-six by Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs.
The Rams have re-arranged their offensive scheme to be more productive. Receivers Reynolds and Woods continue to run sweeps with a tailback fashion gaining big yardage. The Rams also utilized both tight ends. This gave great results against the Seahawks. Tyler Higbee had his best game yet leading receivers with seven catches for 116 yards.
Kickoff is Sunday at 1:25 p.m. (PST) on FOX.