The Dallas Cowboys will look to win their second straight playoff game when they take on the Rams in Los Angeles. Dallas was able to sneak by the Seattle Seahawks at home last weekend, while the Rams were able to get some much-needed rest for their starters. The Cowboys will try to win this game on defense, while the Rams hope that their offense lights up the scoreboard.
The Rams looked like the best team in the NFL for much of the season, but a two-game losing streak late in the season cost them a chance at the number-one seed. Los Angeles finished the season with a 13-3 record and were the winners of the NFC West. Dallas capped off a 10-6 season by winning the NFC East and earning the four-seed. The Rams are 7.0 point favorites over the Cowboys in this game.
Dallas Defense Must Dominate
Dallas has been one of the best defenses in the league this season, and they must carry the team in this game. The Cowboys gave up just 20 points per game, and they shut down the explosive New Orleans Saints this season. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence led the Cowboys with 10.5 sacks and should spend some time in the Rams offensive backfield. If the Cowboys are able to keep the Rams to 20 points or less, Dallas has the clear advantage on Saturday.
The arrival of Amari Cooper has transformed the Cowboys offense into a very balanced unit. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw for just 226 yards in the Wild Card Round but did complete over 66 percent of his passes. The addition of Cooper gives the Cowboys a deep threat and creates running lanes for Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott was the leading rusher in the NFL during the regular season and should see plenty of action in this game. The Cowboys offense isn’t great, but it’s getting better.
Will the Rams Offense Show Up?
Sean McVay’s Rams offense was putting up monster numbers through the first part of the season, but things changed in the last four weeks. If the Rams are going to advance deep in the playoffs, their offense must show up. Quarterback Jared Goff threw for over 4,600 yards during the regular season but struggled with interceptions of late. Look for the Rams to feature running back Todd Gurley early and often in this game. Gurley racked up over 1,800 yards of total offense this season despite missing two games. If the Rams offense gets rolling, Dallas will be in big trouble.
Defensive lineman Aaron Donald might be the defensive player of the year in the NFL, but he hasn’t gotten much help on defense. Donald recorded 20.5 sacks during the regular season, and he will be looking to get pressure on Prescott. Los Angeles gave up 24.0 points this season, and they struggled to defend the pass. The Rams offense will likely win them the game, but the defense must show up.
LA Rolls Over Dallas
The Cowboys finally got a much-needed playoff win in the Wild Card Round, but their season will end on Saturday. Dallas doesn’t have enough offense to keep up with the Rams, and their defense will get exposed by Goff and Gurley. The Rams struggled in the playoffs a season ago, but McVay will have his team focused. Bet the Los Angeles Rams -7.0 over the Dallas Cowboys.