The Rams were able to retain Cooper Kupp–who might have been looking at a five-year $90 million contract on the open market– on a team friendly 4-year extension worth up to $48 million to keep him in LA throughout the 2023 season. I cannot explain how huge it is to save that extra $3 million in cap space per year. Having cap flexibility is invaluable, especially next year when it is expected to go down significantly.
It is also of note that this contract ends after the 2023 season. Recent extensions handed out to Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks turned out to be bad, not because of the initial investment, but rather that the investment was far too long and backloaded. This contract is of the shorter variety, it will be interesting to find out when most of the money comes in. I will update this article as the terms of the deal become official and be able to give you an exact year by year cash flow of the contract.
Henderson back at practice for LA
Running back Darrell Henderson was the only player listed on the injury report this week for the Rams, but he is good now. After practicing the last few days, Henderson joins his Rams backfield mates Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown to form one of the league’s most formidable trios. LA has “Spent the off-season designing a system to feature all three of their backs” according to beat reporter Jourdan Rodrique. With all three healthy, head coach Sean McVay will get to show off his brand new plays; and that surely makes him as happy as can be.
Jourdan Lewis still not back for practice
It is looking like the Cowboys will be without their fourth corner, Jourdan Lewis. The corner is dealing with an ankle injury, so this could be an area to attack for the Rams. The Cowboys will likely have to bring in Daryl Worley or bring one of their safeties down when they are in dime coverage. If I were the Rams, I would spread them out and make Worley and/or the safeties try to keep up with our four-wide set.
Rams offense Vs Cowboys defense
We just touched on this one a little bit, but passing the ball is going to be the way the Rams win this game. Yes, the game is always first opened up by running the ball. That’s a given, but what after that? You have to be able to take advantage of your opponents weaknesses.
The Cowboys biggest question marks in this game are are going to be their pass rush (without Gerald McCoy), and their secondary depth–they lost star corner Byron Jones to free agency, as well as missing Lewis for this game. The Rams must figure out a way to attack this secondary while at the same time feeling out the defensive line. Van Jefferson may have as big of a role tomorrow as he does all season. This is simply a matchup where the Rams will need his skill-set.
Rams defense vs Cowboys offense
This matchup is one that the Rams star defenders have had circled for a long time. In 2019 Dallas ran and passed ALL OVER the Rams in a 44-21 smackdown. The Cowboys used basically the same running plays that the Ravens used on LA just two weeks prior, leading to the demise of Wade Phillips. Enter Brandon Staley, and his completely opposite approach to the game.
The Cowboys will not know what to expect from this LA defense. The only thing they can expect is that the Rams are going to completely eliminate what Dallas does best. This approach is the opposite of the last time they met, and Rams fans are hoping for equally opposite results. Just as Jefferson might be highly used in this game, the same can be said about CeeDee Lamb. The rookie receiver has been the star of Cowboys camp. If this game turns into a high scoring affair, look for Lamb to get a decent amount of targets.
Prediction: Rams over Cowboys 26-24
That’s it for this week’s roundup, check back next Tuesday for more!
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