Last week, the Cowboys built up a big lead against the Seattle Seahawks, eventually holding on for a 24-22 victory. It was the team’s 8th win in its last 9 games. The success formula for the Cowboys is simple. The defense (ranked 7th in the league with 329.5 YPG), plays hard and keeps the score close. All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliot (2,001 all-purpose yards and 9 TDs) runs hard, gobbles up yards and helps keep the pressure of QB Dak Prescott. Prescott throws the occasional TD pass while doing his best not to turn the ball over. It’s noteworthy that the Dallas defense held opponents to less than three TDs nine times during the regular season.
The Rams went 13-3 during the regular season with all three losses coming against playoff teams. The offense was dominate, finishing 5th in passing (295.6 YPG), 3rd in rushing (139.4 YPG) and 2nd overall with 435.1 YPG. QB Jared Goff had a terrific season, throwing for 4,688 yards and 32 TDs with only 12 interceptions. He was joined in the backfield by RB Todd Gurley II, who accounted for 1,831 all-purpose yards and 21 TDs to lead all non-kickers in scoring. The defense finished the season middle of the pack, giving up just under 360 YPG and 24 PPG.
Prediction: At one point late in the season, it looked like Goff had lost his edge. However, he gathered himself and looked strong over the last two weeks of the season. The Rams have a very well-balanced offense that could give the Cowboys’ defense trouble. The feeling here is Dallas is going to have difficulty scoring while Goff and the Rams run wild. Potential blowout alert. Play Los Angeles -7 (score Los Angeles 37-17)