The NFL finally got to experience the Dallas Cowboys everybody expected to see this season. Big D was firing on all cylinders against a Rams team fighting to punch their ticket to the postseason.
Dallas simply dominated Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams in every aspect of the game. Kellen Moore’s offense racked up 475 yards of total offense while averaging 7-yards-per-play. This was coming off a game where Wade Phillips’ squad held Russell Wilson and company to 308 total offensive yards and 12 points.
Cowboys Run Over Rams’ Defense
The Cowboys’ 44-points was a season-high, and they did it with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb combining for 22-yards on three catches. Don’t worry. Your vision is working just fine. Sunday’s tilt between these two teams saw Dallas’ leading receiver have one catch for 59 yards and a touchdown. Tavon Austin scored when two defenders collided, giving Austin a wide-open catch-and-score with 16+ yards of separation.
While the receiving game seems lack-luster on paper, the Cowboys didn’t need to rely on Prescott’s arm as the Cowboys ran all over the Rams at Jerry World. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combined for 248 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. The Cowboys’ backfield carried the ball 45 times for 263 yards while averaging 5.8 yards-per-carry. It looks as if Dallas will ride the run-game as they jockey for their spot in the postseason and remind everyone why they are the number one offense in the NFL.
For the first time in months, this unit justified its ranking as a top-ten defense. Surrendering 100-plus rushing yards since week four, the Cowboys smothered Todd Gurley. Coming off a 79-yard performance against Seattle, he ran for just 20-yards on 11 carries.
Jared Goff had little time to no time in the pocket as Dallas’ pass rush and front-seven were imposing their will. Goff was sacked twice and hit six times, causing him to hurry throws and miss wide-open receivers. Dallas held Goff to just 5.6 yards-per-attempt and a quarterback rating of 84.1.
Sean Lee gets significant credit for the sub-par performance put up by Goff and company as he had four tackles, one sack, and an interception. Number 50 was questionable as he didn’t practice all-week but put out his best performance of the season, looking like a vintage Sean Lee.
Other defensive players that stepped up were Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie. Two young guys in the secondary who have shown flashes at times but haven’t taken the next step. Awuzie took a step-up this week as he was excellent in pass-coverage and had a pair of pass deflections. While Awuzie has had ample opportunity, Lewis has recently been drawing the start over Jeff Heath. It looks to be paying off as Lewis had his coming out party against the Rams. Leading the team in total tackles and tackles-for-loss, Lewis also deflected a pass and had a rare sack and quarterback hit. Playing at this level could see Dallas make a lot of noise if they sneak into the playoffs!
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