Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys Matchup Preview (9/13/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream
This is the opening game for the new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles which will be shared by the Rams and the Chargers. SoFi Stadium is the most expensive stadium ever built and has a capacity of about 70,000 fans. This won’t be the opening Rams’ fans hoped for, however, as there won’t be anybody in the stands in Week 1 due to COVID-19. The Cowboys lead 18-17-0 in the all-time series between the two teams and Dallas defeated LA last season 44-20. However, the Rams won the two previous matchups by an average of 6.5 points. Last season, the Cowboys finished in second place in the NFC East with an 8-8 record while the Rams finished in third place in the NFC West with a 9-7 record.
In the teams’ matchup last season, the run game was the massive difference for the Cowboys as Dallas running backs rushed for a combined for 263 yards. Tony Pollard had 12 carries for 131 yards and Ezekiel Elliott had 24 carries for 117 yards, while the top rusher for the Rams was Todd Gurley with 11 carries for 20 yards. Jared Goff had a solid game with 284 passing yards and 2 touchdowns, but the Rams were playing from behind for most of the game and Goff had to throw the ball a whopping 51 times. The addition of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to the Dallas secondary is significant, but the loss of Byron Jones will work to offset that. The Cowboys also added instant-impact players in free agency – Clinton-Dix, Everson Griffen, Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe – as well as in the draft – CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs, and others. The Rams, on the other hand, had a quiet offseason and don’t figure to be significantly improved from last year’s inconsistent squad. Both of these teams will be looking to start their season off right with a win in primetime.For detailed historic statistics on this matchup, head over to the Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Rams matchup page.
Date: Sunday, September 13, 2020
Time: 8:20 PM EST
Location: SoFi Stadium – Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys Live Stream
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Dallas Cowboys: OG Connor Williams (questionable), Leighton Vander Esch (probable), David Irving (out), Randy Gregory (out)
Los Angeles Rams: DB John Johnson (questionable), OT Joseph Noteboom (questionable), LB Micah Kiser (questionable)
Dallas Cowboys Analysis
The Cowboys have had one of the best offseasons in the NFL, particularly due to their impressive draft class which will provide as many as five starters in the near future. Former All-Pro center Travis Frederick retired over the offseason, but the Cowboys’ mid-round draft pick of Tyler Biadasz will help mask that loss. The second-round pick of Trevon Diggs will help the team recover from the free agency loss of Byron Jones. CeeDee Lamb will be an immediate factor in the passing game and has the potential to develop into one of the best receivers in the NFL.
The Cowboys’ passing game figures to be one of their biggest strengths as Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb form one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. Dak Prescott is a very effective QB who should have an excellent fantasy season. Jalen Ramsey helped the Rams allow a below-average amount of passing yards last season, but the Cowboys will have too many weapons for the Rams to handle. Blake Jarwin at tight end could even get involved as the defensive attention will surely be going toward the team’s receivers.
Ezekiel Elliott buoys one of the league’s best rushing offenses and the Rams were a below-average rushing defense last year. The Cowboys should have no problem scoring in this game against a middle-of-the-pack Rams defense. The biggest change for Dallas this season is at head coach where Mike McCarthy will replace Jason Garrett. Cowboys fans will be hoping that the head coaching change will allow a talented roster to become a Super Bowl contender, especially with how talented their offense is.
To Dallas’s credit, their defense certainly has the upside to be a very effective unit this season. Everson Griffen was recently signed in free agency and will form a formidable defensive end duo with multi-time Pro Bowler DeMarcus Lawrence. This team also sports an elite trio of linebackers in Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, and Sean Lee. In the secondary, Byron Jones will be missed, but the addition of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was massive for the team. The cornerback depth chart is light on proven talent after Chidobe Awuzie and Anthony Brown, although rookies Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson have a ton of upside.
Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart
QB: Dak Prescott
RB1: Ezekiel Elliott
RB2: Tony Pollard
WR1: Amari Cooper
WR2: Michael Gallup
WR3: CeeDee Lamb
TE: Blake Jarwin
LT: Tyron Smith
LG: Connor Williams
C: Joe Looney
RG: Zack Martin
RT: La’el Collins
DE: DeMarcus Lawrence
DT: Trysten Hill
DT: Dontari Poe
DE: Everson Griffen
LB: Leighton Vander Esch
LB: Jaylon Smith
LB: Sean Lee
CB: Anthony Brown
CB: Chidobe Awuzie
CB: Jourdan Lewis
S: Xavier Woods
S: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
K: Greg Zuerlein
P: Chris Jones
Los Angeles Rams Analysis
The Rams had a much quieter offseason than the Cowboys as they only made a handful of free agency signings and lost some significant players in Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Cory Littleton, Dante Fowler Jr., and Greg Zuerlein. All of those players were starters on the Rams’ roster that went to the Super Bowl just over a year ago. The team signed Leonard Floyd to replace Dante Fowler Jr. and Austin Blythe, another free agency signing, is currently slated to start at right guard.
LA will be hoping that their backfield group of rookie Cam Akers, second-year Darrell Henderson, and veteran Malcolm Brown can make up for the loss of the former Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley. The Rams’ investment of a 2nd-round pick in Akers suggests they expect him to run away with the starting job. The former Florida State running back ran behind a brutal offensive line last season, but still, he put up impressive numbers and flashed elite potential.
In the passing game, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods will pick up some extra work after Brandin Cooks was traded to the Texans. Kupp and Woods form one of the best receiver duos in the NFL, and both should be close to top-ten at their position in fantasy. Rookie second-round pick Van Jefferson and veteran Josh Reynolds will likely pick up some extra targets as well. The Rams played a ton of 12 personnel towards the end of last season, something we may see more of as Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett are very strong players at tight end.
Defensively, the Rams will be hoping that the additions of Leonard Floyd and A’Shawn Robinson on the defensive line can help their pass rush and running defense. Jalen Ramsey helped the Rams field an above-average passing defense last year and the presence of Aaron Donald on the defensive line is enough to give opposing offensive coordinators headaches. However, the team is going to be looking for a new starter at inside linebacker after the departure of Cory Littleton. Micah Kiser, a third-year linebacker who didn’t play a single snap last season, is expected to start. The secondary will be largely the same as last season.
Los Angeles Depth Chart
QB: Jared Goff
RB1: Malcolm Brown
RB2: Darrell Henderson
WR1: Cooper Kupp
WR2: Robert Woods
WR3: Josh Reynolds
TE1: Tyler Higbee
TE2: Gerald Everett
LT: Andrew Whitworth
LG: Austin Corbett
C: Brian Allen
RG: Austin Blythe
RT: Rob Havenstein
Spread: Cowboys -2.5, Rams +2.5
Moneyline: Cowboys -140, Rams +120
The Cowboys are one of my early favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl after an impressive offseason which included the arrival of rookie and veteran talent as well as the introduction as Mike McCarthy as the new head coach. The Rams, meanwhile, had a quiet offseason and have been stagnant since making it to the Super Bowl a couple of seasons ago. The team has several needs, particularly on the offensive line and all over the defense. Dallas had a below-average pass rush last season which bodes well for Jared Goff, but the Cowboys did add a couple of players who will aid with that. The Cowboys should be a top-five scoring offense this season and I don’t think Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey will be enough to stop them with the lack of consistency from much of the rest of the Rams’ defenders. This should be a very high-scoring game between two top-end offenses, but I expect the Cowboys to win out due to the overall talent discrepancy on their roster. I would bet on the over in this matchup as I expect the Cowboys to get up early and for the Rams to be playing at a fast pace and throwing the ball to catch up later in the contest.
My prediction: Cowboys win 31-21, Cowboys cover the spread, over 51 points scored
Daily Fantasy Picks
Dalvin Cookís injury could hinder his fantasy ceiling on Sunday. Given that the Minnesota Vikings have a great run-blocking offensive line, they will have success leaning on any of their backs. In addition, the Saints defense ranks in the top five in terms of limiting opponent rushing yards per game. Therefore Cook is a low-end RB2/decent flex option this weekend.
Fantasy owners should stray away from Kyle Rudolph on Sunday. Over his last four games, Rudolph has failed to record a touchdown reception, which is alarming, considering Rudolph excels the most in the red zone. Additionally, the Saints have held tight ends to five touchdowns this season, which further lowers his ceiling. Therefore, he is solely a TE3 option, who should be avoided if possible.
Stephon Diggs is a reliable WR1 option on Sunday. Over his last five games, Diggs has been a reliable fantasy receiver who is averaging nearly 15 fantasy points per game. Given that Diggs has 94 targets along with a 4.3% drop rate, Kirk Cousins is likely to look for him since he is dependable. Also, since Thielen is struggling post-injury, Diggs is expected to have one of his best outings of the season this weekend.
Over the last month, Drew Brees is averaging an outstanding 28.3 fantasy points per game. Brees has been both productive and efficient by throwing for 250+ yards and 3+ TDs in five of his last six games. Despite a matchup against a daunting Minnesota defense, you can expect Brees to perform well since he has been effective this season against tough defenses like the 49ers. Therefore, Brees is slated to be a QB1 in most leagues.
As of right now, Jared Cook is a high-end TE2 in most leagues. Even though Cook hasnít received a high number of receptions since Week 13, he has been able to maximize his yards per reception by exploiting favorable matchups against slower linebackers. With Eric Kendricks possibly inactive for Sunday, Cook is likely to continue this same success against the Vikings defense. Especially considering that Cook has scored 10+ fantasy points in nine of his last ten outings, he is a dependable TE with a higher floor than the average tight end.