This is an interesting test this week as the Dallas Cowboys take on the Super Bowl champion L.A. Rams in SoFi Stadium. The Rams are dealing with quite a long list of injuries to their roster, and the lack of options on offense are showing. But even with those issues, they still have the great mind of Sean McVay calling the shots.
In the last ten meetings between Dallas and LA Rams, they have a split record against each other, with both teams winning five games each including playoff matchups. The Cowboys lost to the Rams in the last meeting back in September 2020 by a field goal; the final quarter became a defensive standoff. In the last four games, one was the NFC Divisional Round playoff game in 2019, the Rams have won three.
So how do the offensive positions on both teams fare in a head-to-head battle?
Mathew Stafford vs Cooper Rush
We have a backup quarterback, and a QB that has had a career of quietly getting it done, then taking a franchise to its second Lombardi in its team’s history. That’s the narrative here in its binary form.
Cooper Rush is now on a three-game winning streak, doing his job well and becoming the first Cowboy QB to win his first four career starts. One issue for Rush is drives losing momentum and having to settle for field goals.
For Matt Stafford he hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in over 144 minutes of playing time now. He has more interceptions than touchdowns, and at the moment looks a little disconnected from what is usually a well constructed offense. Let’s give the nod to Stafford for now, but the Rams offense is certainly looking up for grabs as they come to play against Dallas this week who enjoy applying pressure to the QB.
Akers/Henderson vs Elliott/Pollard
Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard both average more yards per carry, have more yards per game, and have fewer fumbles. Last week versus a strong run defense in Washington, the running game struggled. A lot of the push they needed from the offensive line didn’t materialize. Pollard, for whatever reason, didn’t get much action until later in the game. When he got his chance, Pollard was able to help in getting the offense into the redzone.
Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson haven’t been used much as receivers, mostly due to a certain wide receiver on the team being effective. But both players have been underwhelming as a runner. The duo had fifteen attempts for 40 yards against the 49ers. The game script had some to do with it, but Akers’ failures going for an average of 1.6 yards per carry was a good reason to stop giving him carries. Both Rams players in rushing yards individually rank outside the top 40.
Kupp/Robinson II/Skowronek vs Lamb/Gallup/BrownGallup
The welcoming of Michael Gallup back to the field was exciting for everyone to watch. And he hit us with two catches for 24 yards and a touchdown. What won’t show on the stat sheet is the added 65 yards Gallup got the offense on defensive pass interference calls. The deep threat from Gallup added something to the offense that is much needed, and the effect that had on CeeDee Lamb last week was clear. Noah Brown continues to surprise. Brown’s issue this week is health with a shoulder injury. Then we have Lamb who is starting to play to a level where the question about him being a true WR1 is slowly getting answered.
But, of course, the Rams have last year’s Offensive Player of the Year, and maybe the best slot receiver in the NFL with Cooper Kupp. Already he’s tallied 402 yards and three touchdowns, pretty much continuing on from last year’s performance.
Then there’s Allen Robinson who’s on 95 yards receiving, and the other outside threat in Bennett Skowronek who is on 140 yards for year. These aren’t huge numbers and the Rams are certainly weapon deficient on offense, and their lack of explosive plays shows.
So the Rams have Cooper Kupp, Cowboys have stronger depth.
Tyler Higbee vs Dalton Schultz
The number two receiving option for Stafford is really tight end Tyler Higbee. Only Travis Kelce, T.J. Hockenson and Mark Andrews (all familiar names at tight end) have more receiving yards at the tight end position, but he has yet to get the into the endzone.
Dalton Schultz returned from injury but failed to reel in his three targets. The hope here is as Schultz gets more time in practice this week, he will be further removed from injury and become more effective on gameday. For now, though, this one goes to the Rams.
The Rams have two games already this season where they’ve allowed seven sacks in a game. The offensive line is both injured and ineffective right now, and they are about to face another sack hungry defense in Dallas.
For the Cowboys, they still rank first in sacks allowed, and against the Washington Commanders they allowed their first team sack in three weeks. But here’s a great kicker for the Cowboys offensive line, the penalty count. The offensive line has accounted for only four flags in the last three weeks, and last week against Washington they were perfect. If there is one criticism on the Cowboys line is the physicality they bring on run blocking.
These offensive lines, although not without problems, are far apart in terms of execution.
Which team has the better offense?
This poll is closed