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Rams-Cowboys Preview

Willie Springer
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The Rams (0-5) may have to rally around someone other than Sam Bradford when the take on the Dallas Cowboys (2-3) at the infamous Cowboys Stadium. The 3:15pm kickoff will mark the 22nd all-time meeting between these franchises with the Rams leading the series 11-10. St. Louis, which is making its first visit at the new stadium, took the last meeting in 2008 when the Cowboys were beat 34-14.

Looking at the Rams:

Sam Bradford is listed as questionable. Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo did not want to rule out his star QB for Sunday’s game, but did say it would very tough for him to perform with the high ankle sprain. Sadly, a hobbling Bradford is probably better than a healthy A.J. Feeley. The backup QB does have starting experience, but has looked awful on the field this season whether it be during practice or a game. The goal is to win a game, and Bradford with a sprain on his not plant leg probably gives your team the best chance to win. He’s going to get hit regardless of his health. This also gives a gauge to see how tough a guy he is, not that it’s ever been questioned.

These are the games that Steven Jackson, who is averaging 55.0 yards per game, has to step up and carry the team on his back if the Rams plan on winning. Whether it be the hurt Bradford or healthy Feeley taking the snaps, the team captain has to step up and lead the team. However, him and Cadillac Williams may have issues since the Cowboys have allowed a league low of 348 rush yards, which is a 69.6 yard average over 5 games.

Getting to QB Tony Romo will be a key for the Rams pass rush. The Rams defense has only 9 sacks this season. That was one of the staples for the team a year ago. Look for Chris Chamberlain to have another big start as he made 7 tackles last week at Green Bay. Staying with the Packers game, the Rams defense did a good job against their offense if the big pass plays did not count.

Looking at the Cowboys:

New Head Coach Jason Garrett is getting an earful for his coaching strategy last week in the 20-16 loss to the New England Patriots. Regardless of how Garrett called the game, his team is hungry for a win and looking to get back to the .500 mark because the NFC East Division is open for the taking.

Dallas is now the fourth team the Rams will face being one of the top passing attacks in the entire league. Romo and the receivers led by TE Jason Witten average 325 pass yards a game. Their big play threats include WR Dez Bryant, who has been battling a thigh bruise for most of the season, and RB Felix Jones, a home run hitting ball carrier. Like their quarterback, this Dallas offense can be very good or very confusing.

Now under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, the Cowboys defense has improved a great deal after an awful 2010-11 season. They rank at the top in defending the pass and run. Led by defensive ends Demarcus Ware, who has 7.0 sacks, plus Anthony Spencer, the opposing QB never has much time to get rid of the ball. Keep an eye on LB phenom Sean Lee, who has having a breakout season with 47 tackles and 3 interceptions.

Staff picks:

Tom Ackerman: 20-16, DAL

Ron Jacober: 27-10, DAL

Scott Warmann: 27-10, DAL

Willie Springer: 23-13, DAL

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