NFL Preseason: Dallas Cowboys vs Los Angeles Rams
When: 9:00 PM EDT, Saturday, August 12, 2017
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California
Lines: Dallas -2.5
Tonight on the NFL gridiron, the Dallas Cowboys will rumble with the Los Angeles Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Cowboys opened up with a 20-18 win over Arizona in the Hall Of Fame game and they were 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS last year in the preseason, while the Rams were 2-2 SU and 0-4 ATS in the preseason last year. The host is 4-1 ATS the last five games in this series.
Moore & Rush Are Battling To Backup Prescott
The Dallas Cowboys went 13-3 last year, but they then lost to Green Bay in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Cowboys were led by rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott and both could have stronger years this time around, although Elliott may be suspended at the start of the year. Still, both have secure jobs. Prescott didn’t play in the Cowboys’ 20-18 win over Arizona in the HOF game, but he should see some time in this one. Kellen Moore and Cooper Rush got the playing time in the game and Moore had a better showing as he was 12/17 for 182 yards with a TD and an INT, while Rush was 9/18 for 87 yards and a TD. Rod Smith had a good game on the ground with 64 yards on 18 carries, while Alfred Morris had 42 yards on seven carries. They are both looking to get the 3rd backup RB role. Darren McFadden will likely be the starter should Elliott be suspended.
The defense allowed 253 yards passing in the game, but the run defense was solid as they allowed just 88 yards on 27 carries on the ground. Last year, they allowed just 83 ypg on the ground, so the run defense is doing its thing again. The big battle on defense is at the right defensive end spot, where 1st round pick Taco Charlton will battle DeMarcus Lawrence, who has been injury prone the last two year, Charlton will be given plenty of reps to prove that he can take the job, which is what the Cowboys are hoping he will do. The Cowboys were 13th in the league in sacks last year with 38, so that is an area that they are looking to improve on. They had two sacks in the game against Arizona.
Goff Has New Weapons, Now It’s Time To Produce
The Rams are back in Los Angeles after going just 4-12 last year and this could be a long season for them as they have a lot of holes to fill and are going through a coaching change as Sean McVay takes over for Jeff Fisher. The Rams have a solid talent at QB in Jared Goff, but he has struggled so far and the hope is that McVay will turn him around. The Rams have also looked to add so weapons for him as they took TE Gerald Everett with their first pick and then added WR Cooper Kupp with their 2nd pick. They also got WR Robert Woods in Free Agency, plus they still have Travon Austin, although he is dealing with an injury at the moment and hasn’t had much practice thus far. Pharoh Cooper has been getting his reps in practice with the number ones. The WR battle is one to watch for sure as they are looking to give Goff the best chance to succeed this year. The Rams were 32nd in total offense, 31st in passing and 32nd in scoring, putting up just 14.0 ppg last year.
The defense lost some talent from last year and they didn’t really do a whole lot to upgrade the defense in the draft or free agency. The big battle on defense is at the free safety spot where Lamarcus Joyner will battle Cody Davis and 3rd round pick Josh Johnson, who many insiders feel that he may not yet be ready for the NFL. He will get plenty of looks in the preseason to try and prove himself. The Rams were 9th in the league in total defense last year, but because their offense put that defense in bad situations for most of the year, they were 23rd in points allowed, giving up 24.6 ppg. They have upgraded the DL with the addition of Connor Barwin from Philadelphia. The Rams were 24th in the league in sacks with 31. So look for them to work on getting pressure on the QB.
- The Under is 10-2 in their last 12 games on grass
- The Under is 14-3 in their last 17 road games
Los Angeles is:
- The Under is 19-9 in their last 28 games overall
- The Under is 5-2 their last seven games overall
The Cowboys have already played a game and they beat the Cardinals by a score of 20-18. They had some bright spots on offense, but their defense really played well, especially against the run and they did hold the Cardinals to just three points over the last three quarters of the game. The Dallas defense will be tough this year and the Rams offense will struggle again, even though it has been upgraded some. The Rams put up just 14.0 ppg last year and will not top 20 ppg this year. The Rams have questions on defense, but they will be decent on defense and should be able to keep the Dallas offense in check here. I look for this one to stay under the total.