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On Deck: Rams

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On Deck: Rams

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CHICAGO, IL- SEPTEMBER 23: Brandon Marshall #15 of the Chicago Bears catches a pass over Cortland Finnegan #31 of the St. Louis Rams on September 23, 2012 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Bears defeated the St. Louis Rams 23-6. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

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On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every Cowboys game during the 2013 season. 

The Opponent: The St. Louis Rams came back from a 14-0 first-quarter deficit last week in Atlanta to make things interesting in a 31-24 loss to the Falcons, who are a tough bunch to beat at home.

Past Meeting: The Cowboys raced past the Rams in 2011 with a resounding 34-7 victory that saw DeMarco Murray burst on to the scene with a 253-yard rushing performance.

Key Matchup: DAL WR Dez Bryant vs. STL CB Cortland Finnegan: Finnegan is known as one of the league's most physical cornerbacks and will likely get his fair share of chances against Bryant, who had a stellar game in Kansas City before suffering back spasms that rendered him ineffective late in the game.

What's Hot: The Cowboys' linebackers were expected to be one of the most effective units on the team this year, and so far it's been proven true as Sean Lee and Bruce Carter are forming quite the duo with Lee manning the middle in the Cowboys' 4-3 defense and Carter playing outside. So far, Carter leads the Cowboys (tied with Barry Church) with 15 tackles and has two sacks.

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford seems to be coming into his own as the former Sooners standout is completing better than 63 percent of his passes with five scores and two picks in his two games this season. Rookie receiver Tavon Austin is lining up to possibly be the next great slot receiver in the league as the former West Virginia standout caught two touchdown passes in Atlanta.

What's Not: The Cowboys' running game has been basically non-existent, specifically last week in Kansas City. DeMarco Murray has averaged 16 carries per game (most coming in the opener) and has just 111 yards on the ground through two games. A lot of this isn't on Murray, but some of it is. The majority of the issues seem to lie in the offensive line and in the play-calling.

Think the Cowboys' running game is lacking? Well, the Rams' isn't much better. In fact, it might be worse. New starter Daryl Richardson is averaging just better than 3 yards per carry and has averaged 15 carries per game in the first two games.

Familiar Faces: James Laurinaitis, the Rams' linebacker, may have not played for any NFL franchise other than the Rams, but he should be familiar to 80s wrestling fans. He's the son of one of the famed tag-team duo known as the Road Warriors and later the Legion of Doom. Don't care who you are, that's just awesome.

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