Published: Sun, October 01, 2017
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Dallas Cowboys: Expect big plays versus the Rams

It's been a short week for the Cowboys coming off a Monday night victory at Arizona and an extended break for the L.A. Rams since their 41-39 win September 21 over San Francisco.

The most interesting angle of this game is the dynamic friendship between Goff and Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

Continued pass rush: The Cowboys will need the pass rush of Demarcus Lawrence to be at full steam once again. I'm not sleeping on the Rams' defense under Wade Phillips.

How impressive has this young man been?

His performance so far this season would tip the scale towards him not being a fluke. A major reason for Goff's success this season has been the offensive line.

National Football League coaches will downplay the existence of "benchmark" games, but this is one for the 2-1 Rams, with their high-scoring offense and their underachieving defense. Through three weeks, the Rams are surrendering 139 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 29th overall in the NFL. If they want to get back to that standard, they'll have to get Dez Bryant more involved in the offense and be a team that is better that their 22nd overall rushing ranking at 89.3 yards per game. Their 3rd down efficiency has also dropped from 2016, going from a 42.3% conversion rate to 34.2% this season.

This is going on the road against a Dallas team. Gurley has also added an additional 140 yards and two TDs catching the ball out of the backfield.

The most preoccupying one is LB Sean Lee. Lee leads Dallas with 25 tackles, and we should expect him to be all over the field making plays against Gurley on Sunday.

If the Cowboys defense isn't at full strength on Sunday, the Rams could be in the ideal position to pull off a huge upset. Elliott is only averaging 3.5 yards per carry thus far, while the offensive line hasn't been as dominant, but look for OC Scott Linehan to make a concerted effort to establish the run early and often.

As for Elliott, his season has been a bit complex at times. With the correct balance and mix of play calls I think the Cowboys could really move the ball on this team.

Now the second-year quarterbacks are set to face each other Sunday on Prescott's home field with Goff off to the better start for the surprising Rams.

"It's a common theme: You stop them, you stop them, and then a guy gets out of their gap and Ezekiel will crease you for a 40-yard run", he continued. Take Dallas (-6) in this one.

After years of unimaginative, inefficient offenses, the Rams have fully rebranded themselves as a scoring machine under new head coach Sean McVay, whose scheme - a fusion of spread concepts and traditional West Coast principles - has produced more points than any other unit this season.

If they can come into Dallas and leave with a victory, it could solidify their legitimacy. I foresee Dallas winning this one in a close, high scoring match.

Demarcus Lawrence has suddenly emerged as one of the best pass rushers in the league and last Monday night he nearly single handedly dominated the Arizona Cardinals offensive front, recording three sacks. Although Elliott has struggled in his past two games with just 88 total rushing yards, the Cowboys aren't going to give up on him, especially when you consider the past two games were played against two teams that both have a top-10 rushing defense in Denver and Arizona.

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