The Dallas Cowboys head to the west coast on Sunday to take on the Los Angeles Rams. The Cowboys are currently 5.5-point underdogs to the Rams according to DraftKings Sportsbook. We wondered if that was an accurate spread, among other things, so we talked to the fine folks at Turf Show Times to get the lowdown on the Rams.
Blogging The Boys: Matthew Stafford isn’t looking like the same quarterback as last year. Is the offensive line the problem or are there other issues?
Turf Show Times: Matthew Stafford has been doing well...at throwing touchdowns to the other team. It’s not all his fault nor is it the offensive line being the sole culprit. The most notable issue is how outside of [Cooper] Kupp and tight end Tyler Higbee, LA doesn’t have reliable pass catchers. Allen Robinson has been terrible to start and has so much trouble gaining separation. McVay also hasn’t gotten other receivers such as Tutu Atwell and preseason star Lance McCutcheon involved either which is curious. I don’t understand how you can expect to see what a player has if they aren’t seeing the field. It makes no sense to me. I also believe a lack of complementary football is hurting Stafford as well. The Rams have one of the worst ground games which forces Matt to play the role of hero which causes him to force the ball into traffic and that’s where his infamous turnover issues come into play.
BTB: Speaking of the offensive line, give us a quick rundown of what is happening there and what the Cowboys can expect in Week 5.
TST: Expect Micah Parsons and/or Demarcus Lawrence to have a field day Sunday. The Rams’ O-line has faltered against elite pass rushes. They’ve given up a total of 14 sacks in their two losses to the 49ers and Bills. Injuries have absolutely decimated this unit. Center Coleman Shelton who was already playing for the injured Brian Allen will be out 4-6 weeks following an ankle injury. LG David Edwards is questionable as he recovers from a concussion. The biggest problems besides the awful injury luck is that they didn’t find a suitable replacement for the retired Andrew Whitworth. His retirement left a gaping hole on the line that has yet to be filled and I don’t anticipate that changing any time soon.
BTB: Where is the Rams’ running game at, it hasn’t looked very effective statistically so far. Any expectation it could improve?
TST: I don’t see it improving all that much as the season progresses. Cam Akers has been a huge bust and I don’t feel any sympathy for anyone who drafted him in fantasy this year. If you still drafted him even after his dismal showing in the playoffs last year, you asked for this. LA simply doesn’t have the RBs that could make up for the weakness in blocking. Darrell Henderson is a slight upgrade over Cam but he’s not all that reliable either. The only way I can see the running game improve is if they improve the O-line or trade for someone before the deadline.
BTB: We all know about Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey on the Rams defense, but who else is playing well right now?
TST: Safety Nick Scott has been having a strong campaign so far. He started the season off with a bang by forcing two of the Bills’ four turnovers in the opener. In that game, he was the only Rams defender in the starting secondary who didn’t allow a reception to his side. He didn’t have a great game against the 49ers but overall he was at one point one of the top-graded safeties to begin 2022. He stepped up during last season’s Super Bowl run and it’s been translating into his play this year.
BTB: At the time of writing this question, the Rams are 5.5 point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook, do you think that’s a fair spread and how do you think the game will go?
TST: I think the Rams should still be favored but only by 2-3 points. They are not as dominant a team this season as their Super Bowl hangover is for real. However, I do see them playing angry after such a bad loss Monday night. Stafford and the offense could struggle once again so I’m seeing this game as a matchup between who’s defense cracks first. Sorry America’s Team, but I’m picking Cooper Rush to lose his first career start.
Rams 17 Cowboys 10