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Three Phases: Cowboys-Rams

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Every week, we'll grade the Cowboys on the three phases of the weekend's game.

    Offense: A+

    The Cowboys ran the ball early and often, and for the second time in his career, DeMarco Murray shredded the Rams' defense by rushing for 175 yards and a touchdown while racking up nearly 30 receiving yards, as well. It was probably the second-best game of Murray's career, right behind the first time he faced the Rams back in 2011 when he ran for a franchise-record 253 yards on the ground. Tony Romo was on his A-game, as well. Romo tossed three touchdowns, including one to rookie tight end Gavin Escobar as the Cowboys rolled out to a 24-0 lead. Perhaps the most impressive, promising aspect of this game was the play of the offensive line, led by a stellar game from second-year tackle Tyron Smith. The Rams defensive front is no joke and the Cowboys gashed it on a consistent basis.

    Defense: A+

    Tap the brakes for a minute, because what the Rams' offense is is still up in the air, but this defensive performance was fantastic. The Cowboys' defensive line got immense pressure on Sam Bradford against a Rams' O-line that hadn't allowed Bradford to be sacked all year. The Cowboys racked up six sacks, most of which came without the help of blitzing and with sheer pressure from the front four. DeMarcus Ware had two sacks and Orlando Scandrick scored one on a big blitz. The defense was in lockdown mode in the first half, especially, as the Rams and Bradford couldn't get anything going.

    Special teams: C

    Dan Bailey had a rare miss of a field goal inside 40 yards, and Dwayne Harris muffed a punt that the Rams recovered early in the game. Luckily for him, the Cowboys defense was able to prevent it from hurting the team.