Is it really going to be another one of those seasons for the Dallas Cowboys? For Cowboy fans I think you know what I’m talking about. Going through another season with mediocre results and needing to fight and claw for a playoff position come December. The Cowboys of course are usually on the outside looking in, but with the state of the NFC East, average football will probably be good enough to sneak into the playoffs. The Giants aren’t who they once were, the Redskins are a complete mess, and the Eagles are the Eagles. I’m sure the Cowboys are sick of being known as mediocre, and Sam Bradford and the Rams are growing tired of being the little brother in their division. The Cowboys and Rams will make a case Sunday that neither claims are true for their respective clubs.
The Cowboys are fresh off a tough loss to the Kansas City chiefs on the road. While some may see that as a bad loss, I see it as an expected loss. The Chiefs were the favorites in that one, and rightfully so, they have a great team this season with no visible holes anywhere on the roster. The Chiefs failed to cover the 3 points, but ended up picking up a 1 point win. Whereas, the St. Louis Rams are coming off a hard loss of their own against the Atlanta Falcons. The Rams held strong, but came up just short in a 31-24 losing effort. They will have another chance today to topple another worthy opponent.
Rams vs. Cowboys Betting Odds:
St. Louis Rams +4(-120)
@Dallas Cowboys -4(+100)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Rams vs. Cowboys Pick:
The St. Louis Rams are trying to steer the ship in the right direction, and I think they are heading the right way. The training wheels are off of Sam Bradford, and it’s time to lead this team into a playoff spot. Maybe not clinch a playoff spot, but at least in a position to be battling for one near the end of the season. Unfortunately for the Rams though, I don’t think they are there quite yet. But like I said, the ship is going the right way. Bradford has long had minimal options to work with in the Rams’ offense, with it often being just an injured Danny Amendola to work with. The Rams have made it a point to improve their receiving core. They added the electrifying Tavon Austin out of West Virginia, and have another talented young option in Austin Pettis. The two combined for 3 touchdowns last week as they found room in the Falcons’ secondary to do some damage. The Rams offensive attack has plenty of promise with Bradford at the helm, as he looked great last week, passing for 352 yards and 3 touchdowns. Nevertheless, young is the key word here, with not much of any NFL experience for Bradford to work with. In addition, with the departure of Steven Jackson in the offseason, the running game is seriously lacking in talent under Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead. Again, not much experience in the running game either, as Richardson is a 7th rounder out of Abilene Christian last year and Pead a 2nd round-pick a year ago.
Now with defensive coordinator Rob Ryan out of the picture, the Cowboys are looking to take the defense in a new direction. They’ve always had a pretty good underrated defense, but they’re looking to take it to another level. Many believe success will come down to how Tony Romo does, which is certainly true, but the defense is going to play a big role in where they are in December. So far this season, they have done a great job in the new 4-3 defensive formation. Last week they held the Kansas City Chiefs to only 18 points, say what you want, the Chiefs don’t have a bad offense this season. Then in their opener against the New York Giants they forced five turnovers to propel them to a big victory over their rival. If the Cowboys are going to win this game it’s going to be won here. The Cowboys’ defense will be going against an inexperienced Rams team which may pose some good matchups for the Cowboys at home.
Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo has pledged to spending more time studying and watching more film this season. As I alluded to in a previous article, we didn’t see Romo golfing as much during the summer so it’s a good start. The offense has enjoyed flashes of greatness, and then other moments realizing this is an average offense. This shouldn’t be an average offense, though. They have all the tools to make it an excellent offense, which we see at times, but they need to do a better job putting it together. There is a variety of receiving options for Romo to go to including Jason Witten and standout wide receiver Dez Bryant who had a big week 2. Following two weeks of play, the Cowboys are averaging 26 points a game, with all of that offense coming in week 1 against the Giants. I’m not going to blame for the Cowboys for getting boggled up on the road against Kansas City, because that is an extremely difficult place to play and the Chiefs have one of the better defenses in the league. The Ram’s defense got throttled last week against a similar offense, so I’m worried how they’ll hold up in week 3.
I said that the Cowboys will win this game with their defense, and I think that’s just what they’re going to do Sunday afternoon at the Jerry Dome. This is the second consecutive game for the Rams on the road against two good teams, with this week probably turning out much of the same way it did against the Falcons. The Cowboys secondary should challenge the young Ram wideouts all afternoon long. They’ve made life tough for the Giants and Chiefs and I don’t see how they won’t against Bradford and the Rams. Romo should have a good day against a defense that has allowed 27.5 points per game thus far in 2013. They are also 28th in the NFL defending the pass. I’ll take the Cowboys at even odds.
PICK : Cowboys -4 (+100)