Cowboys run into LA, take a huge win over the Rams 22-10

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ashley Landis/AP/Shutterstock (13452371ba) Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) reaches the end zone after a long run for a touchdeown as Los Angeles Rams safety Terrell Burgess (26) and others pursue in the first half of an NFL football game, in Inglewood, Calif Cowboys Rams Football, Inglewood, United States – 09 Oct 2022

Cowboys run into LA, take a huge win over the Rams 22-10

The Cowboys came into this game off three straight wins with Cooper Rush at the helm looking to steal one on the road in Los Angeles. Consider it mission accomplished as the Cowboys took a 22-10 win in LA making Dallas 4-0 with Rush under center. The identity of the Cowboys has not changed since the start of the season. They commit to the run and get after you on defense.

Rush operated as a game manager in this one completing 10-16 attempts for 102 yards with only three receivers catching passes. Ceedee Lamb had five catches for 53 yards, Michael Gallup pulled in four for 44 yards, and Noah Brown had a catch for five yards.

The Rams dominated the passing department, but Dallas controlled the game in every other facet. The Dallas rushing duo controlled the pace of the entire game. Tony Pollard ran for 86 yards on just eight carries and contributed a score. Ezekiel Elliott put up 78 yards on 22 carries as the primary ball carrier.

The Cowboys’ defensive front continues to be one of the best in the league as they brought down Matthew Stafford five times over the course of the game. Micah Parsons recorded two sacks while Dorance Armstrong, Osa Odighizuwa, and Jourdan Lewis each recorded one. Stafford was feeling the pressure all night as he also lost two fumbles.

Stafford and Cooper Kupp were productive as per usual with each other. Stafford threw for 308 yards with a touchdown and a pick. Kupp as his top target pulled in seven balls for 125 yards and a score. Outside of Kupp, the Rams could not find another serious contributor offensively. Cam Akers, along with the entire LA running game, was neutralized averaging only 2.5 yards per carry on 13 touches.

The Rams started out with the ball and it was evident they wanted to get Cooper Kupp involved early. He caught two straight balls setting up third and short. On the next play, the Cowboys’ defense continued to display their exceptional play by strip-sacking Matthew Stafford and completing the scoop-and-score giving Dallas the lead early. DeMarcus Lawrence scooped up the fumble after the Dorance Armstrong sack and scored the touchdown.

The void left by long-snapper Jake McQuaide was felt on the first PAT attempted with Matt Overton in that slot. A bad snap put the ball on the ground where the Cowboys recovered, but the PAT failed leaving the score at 6-0.

On the following drive, the Dallas defense held strong and forced a punt, which Dorance Armstrong would block and give the Cowboys great field position on their first official offensive drive. That drive would end in a Brett Maher 33-yard field goal giving the Cowboys a 9-0 lead less than halfway through the first quarter.

The Rams, who rank dead last in the NFL in big plays per game, made one on their next possession. Stafford hit Tutu Atwell on a 53-yard strike over the middle of the field just over the outstretched hand of Trevon Diggs setting up Los Angeles deep inside Dallas territory. Then the Dallas defense showed the bend-don’t-break quality they possess by forcing the Rams into a field goal. Matt Gay split the uprights on a 29-yard try cutting the Cowboys’ lead to 9-3.

Going into the game, one of the key storylines was the battle between the two presumed best defensive players in football. Aaron Donald and Micah Parsons. Donald was the one to strike first on the Cowboys next drive as he sacks Cooper Rush forcing the Cowboys to punt. Donald was lined up against rookie left tackle Tyler Smith, which is a matchup the Rams planned to exploit. The first quarter would end with the Cowboys leading 9-3.

With 10 minutes left in the half, the Rams hit their second big play of the afternoon scoring on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Kupp giving them a 10-9 lead.

The lead would not last long however as Dallas came up with a big play of their own. After a 16-yard catch from Rush to Ceedee Lamb, Tony Pollard broke through a hole and broke through some tackles for a 57-yard touchdown run giving the lead back to the Cowboys 16-10. Pollard continues to show how elusive and dynamic he can be in the open field.

Both teams would trade scoreless drives until the end of the half. The Rams threatened with their last drive of the half after converting successfully on a fake punt. A pass from punter Riley Dixon to linebacker Jake Gervase gave the Rams additional life late in the second quarter. However, the Dallas defense would once again come through forcing the Rams to punt the ball away essentially ending the half. The Cowboys would lead the Rams at halftime 16-10.

The Cowboys would start the second half with the football and would immediately make another mark on the scoreboard. Dallas would lead a 12-play drive that would ultimately end in a 40-yard field goal giving them a 19-10 lead with about eight minutes to play in the third quarter. During the drive, Michael Gallup showed why the Cowboys wrote him a big check pulling in a 26-yard catch down the sideline while falling on his back and dragging his feet to stay in bounds. That play also saved the drive as it was on third and 15 on their own 32-yard-line.

Cowboys fans would start the half with a bit of an injury scare as Micah Parsons came out of the tunnel limping. He would be restricted to just third down plays on the next defensive drive, but he would come up clutch by sacking Stafford on third down ending the Los Angeles drive. The strong defensive matchup held true with Parsons and Donald both recording a sack in the game.

Dallas would hold their 19-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Up to this point Rush only had 91 yards passing, but had not turned the ball over. Dallas had outrushed the Rams by almost 100 yards in the first three quarters, 135 yards to 38 yards.

The Rams would continue their drive that started at the end of the third and get themselves in field goal position. However, Rams kicker Matt Gay would miss the 51-yard attempt handing the ball back to the Cowboys keeping the 19-10 lead.

After trading three-and-outs, the Cowboys would lead a nine-play drive that would end in a 36-yard field goal giving them a 22-10 lead. As they have all game, Dallas committed to the run on this drive as they ran the ball seven straight times.

With about 5:30 left in the game, the Rams were playing catch-up and committing to the pass. The pace of play increased dramatically for Los Angeles and they were able to march down the field to the Dallas 21-yard-line. However, following a clutch Osa Odighizuwa sack, Stafford went deep on third and 13, which would end up in the hands of Malik Hooker for the first interception of the game. Dallas would get the ball back with 3:38 left in the game deep in their own territory.

After Dallas would go three-and-out, the Rams would get the ball back around mid-field. Stafford would complete three straight passes moving Los Angeles up to the Dallas 31-yard-line. On the next play, that highly anticipated defensive showdown showed its head again when a hobbled Micah Parsons sacks Stafford, which caused the ball to come out for rookie DE Sam Williams to recover essentially ending the game in favor of the ‘Boys.

Victory formation would take place in the final minute securing the win for the Cowboys 22-10 in Los Angeles. A huge win going into next week as they travel to Philadelphia to play the lone undefeated Eagles.

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