The second of two NFL Divisional Playoff games will kick off tonight, Jan. 12 at 8:15 pm ET. Our Rams vs Cowboys pick offers the home team, Los Angeles, as being favored by anywhere from 7.0 to 8.5 points. The Dallas Cowboys (10-6 Overall, 3-5 Away) have caught fire as of late, winning seven of their final eight regular-season games and beating Seattle 24-22 last week in the wild card game. The NFC East champs now have to play the NFC West powerhouse Los Angeles Ram (13-3 Overall, 7-1 Home). The Rams started their season with eight straight wins, but then struggled a bit in the second half of the season, going 5-3.
This is a game that features a whole lot of offensive potential. The Rams scored 32.9 PPG this season and the Cowboys 21.2. Here are the formidable offensive players we have to consider in our Rams vs Cowboys pick.
Dallas QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliot can both bring it at any time. Although Prescott was sacked 56 times this season, he is still fairly mobile, averaging 4.1 yards per carry and scoring six rushing TDs. But it is his passing that is his bread-and-butter. Prescott completed 67.7% of his passes, accumulating 3,885 yards and tossing 22 TD passes and just eight picks. When passing his go-to guys are Amari Cooper, Cole Beasley, and Elliot. Elliot has caught three TD passes and rushed for six more scores.
We have to wonder in developing our Rams vs Cowboys pick if anyone can stop QB Jared Goff. Goff, who’s completed 64.9% of his passes, tossed for over 4,600 yards. He threw 32 TD passes and 12 INTs. Although LA will be without one of its top receivers, Cooper Kupp who’s out with an ACL tear, they still have a huge number of top-notch receivers. Included in that group are wideouts Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks and RB Todd Gurley II. Both Woods and Cooks have over 1,200 yards in receptions each and 80-plus catches for a combined total of 11 TD catches. As a running back, Gurley has scored 17 times, rushing for over 1,200 yards while averaging 4.9 YPA. He has over 2,000 total offensive yards.
Edge: Los Angeles
The Dallas Cowboy D gave up on average 20.3 PPG. They allowed the Seattle Seahawks 22 points last week. During the regular season, the Rams allowed opponents on average 24.0 PPG. The Rams did well handling opponent defenses. Just one time this season, defenses held LA to under 23 points. That was against Chicago.
Overall, both teams are allowing opponents per game about 235 yards in passing. Dallas has a superior rush defense, holding teams to under 95 yards per game, while LA is giving up just over 120 YPG in running. The Rams bring 18 INTs and 41 sacks to this game. Dallas comes in with 90 TFL and LA with 84. Although the Cowboys posted a respectable 39 sacks, they managed just nine INTs. On third downs, LA was 12th in the NFL this season, as teams converted 37.2% of the time. Dallas, at 42.3%, was ranked 27th.
In our Rams vs Cowboys pick, we’re calling this even. In some ways, LA is superior, while in others Dallas has an advantage.
Five Keys to this Game
Here are our keys to our Rams vs Cowboys pick.
- QB Goff vs QB Prescott – Goff offers edge
- RB Gurley vs Elliot – Gurley has advantage
- LA at home favored
- Dallas D must slow down Rams
- LA defense outperforms in 3rd down situations
Edge: Los Angeles
Our Rams vs Cowboys Pick
Our Rams vs Cowboys pick sees Los Angeles as controlling this game and outplaying the Cowboys. Dallas will have a tough time keeping up with and slowing down the Rams. We’re taking the LA Rams at -7.0. We also have the Rams and Cowboys over/under. Also see our over/under for KC versus Indy and our point spread pick for that same game.