Cowboys, Rams both seek long-awaited NFC championship game return

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff seems for a receiver downfield. (Kelvin Kuo/AP)

Dallas appeared like a possible juggernaut ultimate week in a 24-22 win over Seattle, with an elite run sport that chugged for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 137 of the ones yards on 26 carries and simply the specter of Elliott helped arrange each different facet of the Cowboys’ offense. Imagine: In video games the place Elliott rushed for a minimum of 100 yards this season, Dallas is now 7-1, with seven directly wins.

The emergence of Amari Cooper, obtained by way of midseason business, is helping the Cowboys keep balanced and provides quarterback Dak Prescott the downfield choice he’s wanted. Prescott threw for 226 yards, a landing and an interception on 22-of-33 passing towards Seattle.

Los Angeles’s offense most likely received’t combat to take care of. The Rams are 2d within the NFL in scoring, averaging 32.nine issues consistent with sport. Tailback Todd Gurley is averaging 89.four speeding yards and 41.four receiving yards consistent with sport, however he sat out the ultimate two video games of the common season to relaxation a sore knee. He’ll go back to the lineup along quarterback Jared Goff, who’s finishing 64.nine % of his passes for 32 touchdowns and four,688 yards in Trainer Sean McVay’s flashy offense.

The Rams’ protection, particularly the entrance 3 of Michael Brockers, Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald, may just turn out a distinction maker. Whilst the Cowboys attempt to run the ball with Elliott, the ones linemen, with 10 Professional Bowl appearances between them, might be Los Angeles’s first defensive line. Linebackers Cory Littleton, Mark Barron and Samson Ebukam have additionally had standout years.

The groups didn’t play this season, however met in Dallas in October of 2017. The Cowboys had a 24-13 lead overdue within the first part, however the Rams scored on 5 consecutive possessions in the second one part and received, 35-30.

The Rams haven’t reached an NFC name sport for the reason that 2001 season. The Cowboys have waited even longer, for the reason that 1995 season.

When: Saturday, eight:15 p.m. Japanese.

The place: Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles.

Find out how to watch on TV: Fox.

Find out how to move on-line: FOXSportsGo app.

Odds: Rams -7.

What’s subsequent: The winner advances to the NFC championship sport on Jan. 20. The winner of this sport would host the NFC name sport if the Eagles disenchanted the Saints on Sunday. Differently, the winner of this sport would commute to New Orleans. The Rams misplaced to each the Saints (at the highway) and Eagles (at house) this season. The Cowboys beat the Saints at house and crowned the Eagles two times.

Ezekiel Elliott will lead the Cowboys’ speeding assault. (Shane Roper/USA TODAY Sports activities)

Matchup to look at: Rams’ play-action passing sport vs. Cowboys linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith

That is the largest power as opposed to power matchup of all of the weekend. Goff led the NFL with 1,971 yards off play motion this season, because the Rams hired it extra incessantly than another workforce within the league. On the ones performs, he averaged yards consistent with try and had a 112.three passer score. For probably the most section, alternatively, play-action exists to assault the world vacated through linebackers who’re drawn ahead through the run pretend, and no workforce within the NFL has linebackers who can duvet extra floor than the Cowboys.

Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith completed the common season as Professional Soccer Center of attention’s fifth- and 6th highest-graded linebackers, respectively. Opposing offenses simplest received 1,zero29 yards off play-action towards the Cowboys this season, the eighth-lowest overall within the NFL. Smith and Vander Esch mixed to permit 16 overall catches of their protection this season off play-action, with simplest seven going for first downs. That type of stinginess might be important to stay the Cowboys on this one. Mike Renner, Professional Soccer Center of attention

Learn extra at the NFL playoffs:

The NFL linebacker has been devalued. Leighton Vander Esch is right here to modify that.

‘We were given it achieved!’: The interior tale of the way Patrick Mahomes landed with the Chiefs

What’s the name of the game to Nick Foles’s magic? The play of the Eagles protection.

Westlake Top produced two Tremendous Bowl MVPs. On Sunday, they’ll meet within the NFL playoffs.

‘Regardless of the place I’m, I nonetheless take into accounts her’: A grieving father plans to play towards the Patriots

Philip Rivers is operating out of time, making this week’s alternative that a lot larger

John Clayton: The four greatest questions heading into the NFL playoffs’ divisional around

NFL playoffs ATS choices: House favorites must combat to hide in divisional matchups

Those one-on-one matchups may just make a decision the NFL’s divisional-round video games

Cowboys-Seahawks takeaways: Dallas is reliable on all sides of the road

The Saints and Rams have been the massive winners on wild-card weekend

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