Posted on January 8, 2019, by Travis Pulver
The Dallas Cowboys had a tough one on their hands in the Wildcard Round in the Seattle Seahawks. But their defense was able to rise to the challenge as was Dak Prescott and the offense.
However, if they are going to move past the Divisional Round for the first time since the 1995 season (when they won Super Bowl XXX), they will have their work cut out for them.
The Rams are not going to be easy to defeat in Los Angeles.
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The formula for the Rams is simple. They are not terrible on defense, but they are far from great; they allowed 24.0 points/game during the regular season this year. But that ended up not being a problem because they could outscore almost everyone (second in points/game with 32.9).
Todd Gurley is one of the best running backs in the game, and a threat as a receiver and a runner. Jared Goff has developed into one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. While loosing Cooper Kupp was a blow, he still has a talented group of receivers in Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, and Josh Reynolds.
With the talent on the offensive side of the ball, the Rams should be able to score points on just about anyone. But late in the season, the Bears and Eagles showed the world how vulnerable the Rams could be. Chicago’s defense clamped down on the Rams offense and ran for close to 200 yards en route to a 15-6 win.
Nick Foles was able to carve up the Rams secondary while running the ball just enough to win the game, 30-23. So, if you have a good defense (doesn’t have to be great) and a good offense (again, doesn’t have to be great), you can beat the Rams.
Sounds a lot like the Dallas Cowboys, right?
Dallas has a good running game and has developed a pretty good passing game since acquiring Amari Cooper. They should be able to find success against the Rams defense doing both. The key will be Dak Prescott not committing any turnovers.
Losing Allen Hurns will hurt, and they might be without Cole Beasley. But Cooper and Michael Gallup should be up for the challenge.
But do the Cowboys have what it takes defensively? They held the No. 1 running team to 73 yards last week So—yeah, they should be able to contain Todd Gurley. Slowing down the Rams passing game will be a challenge. They will need to put a lot of pressure on Goff. However, pressuring the QB has not been a strength of the team on the road.
The quality of this game is going to depend on what version of the Dallas Cowboys shows up to play. If the one that faced the Colts a few weeks ago does, this one will be over by halftime—Rams win. But if the one that stepped up to the challenge against the Saints and Seahawks does, this is going to be a very entertaining game.
It will be a close contest, but in the end, the Cowboys will come out on top. Should the Rams win, they will not cover the spread (-7). As for the over/under—Dallas rarely scores a lot of points and their defense will make sure the Rams don’t either. Take the under (49.5).