SoFi Stadium Inglewood

Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams Pick & Prediction SEP 13TH 2020

Logo Dallas Cowboys
Logo Los Angeles Rams

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A pair of teams in the midst of change will take the field Sunday night amid the backdrop of a new $5 billion stadium as the Los Angeles Rams play host to the Dallas Cowboys at Inglewood, Calif.


The Cowboys will usher in the head coaching era of Mike McCarthy, who takes over after Jason Garrett was fired. There will be no settling into the job, even after the Cowboys' 8-8 season last year, since Dallas is considered one of the better teams in the NFC.


The Rams are in the midst of some coaching changes as well following a 9-7 season that saw them miss the playoffs following a Super Bowl run.


Head coach Sean McVay will have some new personnel to work with as Brandon Staley takes over at defensive coordinator from Wade Phillips, Kevin O'Connell takes over at offensive coordinator and John Bonamego is the replacement for John Fassel as special teams coordinator.


On the field, Dak Prescott remains the Cowboys' quarterback, with the exclusive franchise tag after negotiations for a long-term deal were unsuccessful, while Jared Goff remains under center in Los Angeles.


Prescott, 27, continues to move forward after passing for 4,902 yards last season and 30 touchdowns, both career bests. He also has Ezekiel Elliott at running back and three big-play wide receivers in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and rookie CeeDee Lamb.


McCarthy said he will put an emphasis on the early portion of the schedule, which includes a number of winnable home games through October against teams like the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals.


"I think a number of teams lose games early in the season as opposed to getting beat," McCarthy said. "We need to focus on the things we have accomplished in training camp. Our expectation is to keep the focus tight, win today and prepare to win in Los Angeles Sunday night."


Goff, 25, appeared to regress last season with 4,638 yards passing, 22 TDs and a career-high 16 interceptions. He tied for the league lead in passing attempts, but his yards were 50 less than in 2018 and he had 10 less TDs.


"Of course you always want to get better from the year before -- and statistically speaking it wasn't my best year," Goff said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "And I do want to play better. I do want to be more efficient. I do want to get the ball to receivers a little bit better, and I expect to, and expect to stay on an upward trajectory."


The Rams' offense took a hit in 2019 from the limited use of running back Todd Gurley and the less aggressive running style he displayed when he did get chances. He was released in the offseason. There were also injuries to a rebuilt offensive line.


The Rams will debut a rotating mix of three running backs: Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson, and rookie Cam Akers.


Both teams are relatively healthy. Henderson (hamstring) was a full participant in Rams practice Wednesday. Cooper (hamstring) was a full participant for the Cowboys, as was cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (knee), while linebacker Luke Gifford (hamstring) was limited and cornerback Jourdan Lewis (ankle) was out.


Also to debut Sunday night is SoFi Stadium, one of two new NFL venues on the West Coast, along with the new stadium built just off the Las Vegas Strip for the Raiders.


"Never seen anything like it," McVay told reporters.


The Rams will open the season with no fans in the stands for home games as a precaution because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


--Field Level Media


Dallas Cowboys
Los Angeles Rams

Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams

Malcolm Brown rushed for two touchdowns and Jared Goff passed for 275 yards as the Los Angeles Rams opened their new $5 billion SoFi Stadium Sunday night with a 20-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Inglewood, Calif.

Brown finished with 79 yards on the ground, as the team's three-headed rushing attack of Brown, Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr., gained a combined 124 yards. Los Angeles wide receiver Robert Woods caught six passes for 105 yards and another 14 on a carry of his own.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was 25 of 39 for 266 yards and one touchdown, while Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 96 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown.

The Cowboys (0-1) had one last drive starting with 2:35 remaining, but an offensive pass interference call on Michael Gallup negated a gain that would have put Dallas in field-goal position and created a third-and-20 from the Dallas 24. The Cowboys turned the ball over on downs with six seconds remaining.

The Rams' secondary made two key plays in the fourth quarter. Instead of trying for a game-tying field goal from inside of 30 yards early in the quarter, the Cowboys went for it on fourth down, but Los Angeles safety Jordan Fuller stopped Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb one yard short at 9-yard line.

On the Cowboys' next possession, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who agreed to a five-year, $105-million deal Wednesday, prevented a third-down completion to Amari Cooper with just over five minutes remaining, and the Cowboys were forced to punt.

The Rams' offense got off to a fast start to the season, going 75 yards in seven plays on its first possession with Brown scoring on a 1-yard plunge up the middle. The Rams (1-0) moved the ball again on their second drive, which ended when rookie kicker Sam Sloman missed a 29-yard field goal.

The Cowboys took advantage, driving the ball 80 yards in eight plays to tie the score 7-7 early in the second quarter on a 19-yard pass from Prescott to Elliott.

The Rams' offense was on the move again in the second quarter, but could not find the end zone. Los Angeles took a 13-7 lead on Sloman field goals of 35 and 31 yards.

The Cowboys took their first lead of the game 14-13 by using their two-minute offense to score a touchdown on a 1-yard run from Elliott with 17 seconds remaining in the first half.

The Rams were in control early, gaining 137 yards in the first quarter to 23 for the Cowboys. Los Angeles even had a heavy advantage in time of possession in the first half at 19:35-10:25, yet still trailed at the break.

The Rams gained 422 yards of total offense in the game to 380 for the Cowboys.

--Field Level Media

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