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Rams at Cowboys Week 4 Preview

Jones vs the Bears 

This Sunday the Dallas Cowboys (3-0) will be facing off against the banged up 0-3 Rams at Texas Stadium. The Rams have beaten the Cowboys in 2 of the last 3 meetings against the Cowboys giving them a 10-9 series advantage over the Cowboys. This advantage, however, maybe the only advantage they have over the Cowboys.

So Far

The Dallas Cowboys have been flying high the past three weeks beating the Giants in a shoot out in week one, then dismantling the Dolphins defense in week two, and destroying the Bears in week three. The Cowboys will be heading into week 4 as the highest scoring team in the NFL and as the most prolific offense in the NFC, and this is with out the speed of Terry Glenn (knee).

The Cowboys Defense on the other hand had a weak showing in week one giving up over 30 points to the NY Giants, but have improved steadily each week after. Despite the Rams battered offense, the Cowboys Defense will need to continue their improvement this week as they face two of the top receivers in the NFC on Sunday, and they will need to continue to do it with out Terrance Newman starting at Corner.

The Rams offense, decimated with injuries, hasn’t been very impressive the first three weeks of the season. They rank 29th in the league in points scored, averaging just 10.7 points per game; 25th in total yards; 20th in Pass yards; and 21st in rushing yards. Their problems start with losing Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Pace and guard Mark Setterstrom weakening the offensive line suspect. If that were not enough, Mark Bulger will be playing through broken ribs, and the Rams will be with out starting running back Steven Jackson.

The Rams defense on the other hand has been a surprise so far this season. They rank with in the top 10 in total yards allowed and passing yards. The Rams Defense will have their work cut out for them against the Dallas Cowboys offense, because while the Rams defense has been much improved their run defense is still suspect and the Cowboys have a potent double edge sword in the running scheme.

For the Dallas Cowboys to Win

In week three against the Bears the Cowboys offense came out in the second half throwing exposing the Bear’s weak secondary, however this week against the Rams look for the Cowboys to come out running in the first half. The Rams run defense has been dismal at best and Marion Barber and Julius Jones should have a field day. The early opportunities in the run game in the first half should open up plenty of passing routes for Witten and Owens anywhere from the second quarter to early in the second half.

On Defense the Cowboys will look to exploit the weaknesses of the offensive line early on. Stopping the run, and getting to the Quarterback will be top priorities. If the Defense can expose the Rams offensive line they should be able to hurry Bulger through his progressions and cause him to make untimely mistakes. Usually, this tactic would not likely work against a veteran Pro Bowl caliber QB like Bulger, but he won’t likely risk taking too many hits with his ribs being broken.

For the St Louis Rams to Win

The Rams will want to come out running early. If they can establish a solid running game against the Cowboys defense it’ll go a long way in preventing over exposing Mark Bulger to the Cowboys’ blitzes. They’ll also need the offensive line to hold up, and make tremendous improvements from previous weeks to buy Bulger additional time to get to his receivers deep. The Cowboys secondary has been suspect for the last few years, so don’t be surprised if the Rams test them hard on this early on.

On Defense the Rams will need to look to stop the running attack, but not to get too overly zealous with it. The Cowboys have several means of attack and the run is just one of them. Playing a combination of man and zone coverage might help limit Romo’s decisions on passing downs. Look for the Rams to try and find ways to neutralize Witten and Owens and force Romo to throw to Patrick Crayton, who seemed to have troubles last week catching the ball with a previously dislocated pinkie against the Bears. The Rams also may not be likely to blitz Romo as often as teams have tried in the past, as this seems to be when Romo is at his best.

My Prediction

Cowboys win 37-10

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