Over the next few days, the Dallas Cowboys‘ upcoming game will be promoted heavily with the following few words: Super Bowl Champion L.A. Rams.
That’s right. The Cowboys are indeed playing the reigning, defending, undisputed champions of the NFL. Intimidating, is it not?
Well, that’s how they’ll sell it, at least. However, it’s a winnable game for the 3-1 Cowboys and not an impossible task as one would’ve imagined after watching Dallas play a stinker of a game in Week 1 and losing Dak Prescott at the end of the opener.
We’re talking about quite a decent Cowboys team here. DVOA, an efficiency metric that adjusts for opponents, ranks them as the sixth-best team in the NFL while it has the Rams all the way down at 26th. It really makes you wonder, would Dallas be favored if they had their starting quarterback lined up?
And even better, the Cowboys should be able to win the war in the trenches against the Rams. They face a unique advantage in that department. And when I say unique, believe me, I mean it.
Next Sunday, Dallas will be facing the 32nd pass blocking unit going by Pro Football Focus’ imperfect grades. But let’s dive deeper into the stats, shall we? Grades are subjective and can be misleading if taken without proper context.
The Rams’ offensive line has allowed 64 pressures through four games, and it’s mostly been on the five guys upfront. In Week 4, Sean McVay’s team was playing a third-string center, a backup left guard, and had an undrafted rookie at right guard.
Matthew Stafford is still the same quarterback he’s always been but those five dudes up front are not getting it done.
That’s why the San Francisco 49ers couldn’t have stopped getting to Stafford even if they wanted to. With only four rushers, the 49ers collapsed the pocket time and time again with ease.
Rams fall to 49ers on the road, 24-9. 17 points allowed by defense and then the pick 6. Offense kept completely out of end zone and Stafford sacked 7 times by 5 different players as OL continues to deal with injury streak.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) October 4, 2022
The Cowboys – who were assigned homework by Dan Quinn to watch the game live – know they can also stop the Rams that way. They’re one of the most dangerous pass-rushing units in the NFL and they know it.
Led by DeMarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons, several Cowboys are also getting to the quarterback. Make no mistake about it, this is a winnable team versus the “Champions” that don’t look like such right about now.
The main reason why is this team’s ability to get to the quarterback.
Featured image via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports