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Out Of The Chute: Rams at Cowboys

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Cowboys next opponent. This week, that opponent is the St. Louis Rams.

    The Opponent: The St. Louis Rams, aka the LA Rams (circa 2016)

    Record: 0-5. Oof.

    The Line: Cowboys by 13. And it'll crush your soul when they fail to cover that spread.

    Last Game: A 24-3 loss to the Packers that even Green Bay fans probably wish had been more competitive. The Packers did all their scoring in the first half of this game, and the second half became a scoreless death march. Fun!

    The Coach: Steve Spagnuolo. I suppose we need to start thinking of him as a bad coach, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. You get so distracted by other bad coaches, like Andy Reid and Lovie Smith. Poor Spags isn't getting a proper flaying.

    The Offense: Sunday will be your first look at Brandon Lloyd in a Rams uniform. The former Bronco wideout was traded this week because Denver management was too cheap to redo his contract. And the Rams needed Lloyd badly, because their passing game has completely fallen apart. Sam Bradford, so impressive last season in winning Offensive Rookie of the Year, has clearly regressed. He's getting sacked at an alarming rate (over 4 times a game), and his completion percentage is way down from last season. The Rams have struggled terribly with injuries, losing Danny Amendola and going for long stretches without RB Steven Jackson. The people they expected to step up on offense (TE Lance Kendricks, WR Mike Sims Walker, who got cut this week) failed miserably. Everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. After such an impressive display against the Pats, the Cowboys defense has no excuse letting this offense do any damage.

    The Defense: This is the worst rushing defense in football, so it behooves Jason Garrett to protect Tony Romo by handing the ball off occasionally. That's occasionally, and not three straight times when there's three-and-a-half minutes left and you're trying to keep Tom Brady from driving down the field on you.

    Key Matchup: Lloyd vs. the Cowboys secondary. Even though he just came into town, Lloyd represents the last best hope for this offense to do anything useful in 2011. Expect the Rams to force him the ball, and the Cowboys to take advantage.


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