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Cowboys news: Three matchups to watch in Cowboys vs Rams

Plus, more news on America’s Team.

Washington Redskins v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Film room: 3 matchups to watch during Cowboys-Rams, including a pay-per-view worthy showdown - John Owning, Dallas Morning News

Which matchup are you most looking forward to on Sunday?

The film shows that Cooper was more effective than his lack of production indicates but undoubtedly hopes that effectiveness will turn into better production this time around.

At 6-1 and 208 with outstanding overall athleticism, Ramsey is one of the few CBs who can match Cooper’s physical skill set, which is a big reason why Ramsey has had so much success against Cooper in the past. Ramsey is one of the best pure man coverage cornerbacks in the NFL, as he can disrupt receivers at the line of scrimmage with his length and is a smooth enough mover to turn and run with most NFL receivers. Ramsey can get in trouble in off coverage, as he can get too preoccupied with the QB, leading to a receiver creating separation.

Cowboys fans should be intimately familiar with Cooper’s skill set, as he’s one of the NFL’s premier route runners. One way to give Cooper an advantage when matched up against Ramsey is by motioning or aligning him in the slot, where the availability of a two-way go will limit Ramsey’s aggressiveness at the line of scrimmage, which will provide Cooper with the necessary space to work his releases and stems to create separation. A pay-per-view worthy matchup, if Cooper can have success on the road against a CB as talented as Ramsey, it will go a long way toward quieting the haters that arose last year.

D-Law: Your Questions Will Be Answered Sunday - Staff, Dallascowboys.com

The star defensive end is keeping his cards close to his chest.

After seven years of playing a very traditional four-man front, this Dallas defense under Mike Nolan figures to look awfully different Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. Throughout training camp, both Lawrence and Aldon Smith have functioned as fascinating chess pieces – occasionally playing as down linemen, occasionally standing up to fill more of a linebacker role. It's been hard to pinpoint exactly what it's going to look like. But to hear it from Lawrence, all will be revealed in due time.

"You'll get a little glimpse of my hand in the dirt, me standing up -- or shoot, probably even over the center, you never know," he said. "Just trying to get back out there, keep my feet underneath me and get after it." That's what makes this all so intriguing. It's almost entirely new. Obviously, the goal is still the same, but there's no telling exactly how the Cowboys plan to deploy Lawrence – not to mention the roster of other Pro Bowlers that will help him rush the passer.

Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott weighs in on Deshaun Watson's contract - Jori Epstein, USA Today

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott weighed in on Deshaun Watson’s new contract.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said Monday that the Cowboys are “totally all in” on Prescott. “We'd love to have it in the rearview mirror, but it's not,” Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan about negotiations. “We’ll continue to address it and certainly feel very confident that we ultimately get something done.”

Prescott’s 2020 performance, no doubt, will factor into the cards at the 2021 negotiating table. Placing a second franchise tag on Prescott would guarantee him $37.7 million next season, all of which would count toward the salary cap in a year when pandemic windfall is expected to dent it. But Prescott has stated his belief that the market factors into his proposals for compensation and length. Since Stephen Jones said during 2019 training camp that “we’re damn sure not going to be a market setter” paying stars, the Cowboys reset the running back market with Elliott’s six-year, $90 million deal and then signed Cooper to a five-year extension worth up to $100 million — the richest max value ever for a receiver.

Dak Prescott opens up about brother’s suicide, his own battles with depression in new interview - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News

The Dallas signal-caller continues to be a role model on and off the field.

Tad Prescott said he first thought his brother’s death was accidental: “I woke up to a phone in my face with a message from Jenna (fiancée) and ... I’m reading this message and I don’t believe it.” During the interview, which is scheduled to air this weekend, Dak Prescott talked about how Jace was the main caregiver to his mother Peggy during her battle with colon cancer before she died in 2013. Dak Prescott also revealed that he went through a state of depression in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

“All throughout this quarantine and this offseason, I started experiencing emotions I’ve never felt before,” Prescott said. “Anxiety for the main one. And then, honestly, a couple of days before my brother passed, I would say I started experiencing depression. And to the point of, I didn’t want to work out anymore. I didn’t know necessarily what I was going through, to say the least, and hadn’t been sleeping at all.”

Predicting Cowboys' Week 1 Offensive X-factor Against Los Angeles Rams - Brian Martin, Inside The Star

Who do you think will be the X-factor on offense in Week One?

Prior to this Week 1 matchup I thought it would be fun to predict who could be the Dallas Cowboys X-factor against the Los Angeles Rams. I probably look at an X-factor type a little differently than most people do. I don’t think it’s necessarily the player who has the best game or is the most productive. I think the X-factor is the player who makes a game changing play or two. The one who turns the tides so to speak.

With that in mind, I’m predicting Dallas Cowboys Running Back Tony Pollard will be the X-factor in this Week 1 matchup. Call me crazy, but I have a feeling Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore has something sneaky up his sleeve involving No. 20 and I think it will end up being a play that helps lead the Cowboys to victory. I know what you’re probably thinking though. How in the world is Tony Pollard going to be the Cowboys X-factor with all of the other fire power the offense has at its disposal? Well, I think the second-year RB ends up somewhat being forgotten in the Rams defensive game plan and as such catches them off guard.

The case for all 32 NFL teams to make Super Bowl LV in the 2020 season, from the Jags to Chiefs - Bill Barnwell, ESPN

The case for the Cowboys to win it all.

5. Dallas Cowboys

Chance to win Super Bowl LV: 4.8%

Chance to make the playoffs: 71.0%

Caesars’ Super Bowl odds: +1300

The Cowboys are probably looking to ride a path like that of the 2016 Falcons to glory. Advanced metrics already thought their offense was on that sort of level, with Dak Prescott & Co. ranking second in DVOA and fourth in FPI last season. Dallas needs center Joe Looney to step in as an able replacement for the retired Travis Frederick and for new coach Mike McCarthy to let incumbent offensive coordinator Kellen Moore do his thing. McCarthy is saying the right things now, but a lot can change once things kick off.

The defense probably just has to get to league average for the Cowboys to make a significant playoff push, although losing defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to a season-ending injury didn’t help their chances. They cut veteran safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and they don’t appear to be interested in Earl Thomas, although that might be subject to change. Dallas posted the league’s third-worst interception rate last year at 1.2%; if that number rises above league average, the combination of a dominant offense and a bunch of short fields could net it the top seed in the NFC.

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