The Dallas Cowboys is off to a hot start with three straight wins after their season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After the Los Angeles Rams stumbled against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night football, it might be clear that the Cowboys have a slight advantage heading into their Sunday afternoon showdown.
Everyone knows about the success story of the Cowboys early into the 2022 season. With Dak Prescott injured in their first game, the team turned to Cooper Rush and leaned more on the defense to step up. Both have stepped up as Rush is 3-0 as the starting quarterback this season. The defense is sixth against the pass, seventh in total yards, second in sacks, and third in points per game.
The Rams have been a different story of sorts. Both Rams’ losses to the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers have been against the top two defenses statistically in the NFL. Their wins against the Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals are in the bottom half in defense and both shaky offensively. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has been off to a slow start throwing four touchdowns and six interceptions in his first four games of the season.
It has not been an ideal start for the defending Super Bowl champs as the eye test shows they are not the same team they were last season. If fans had told experts after week one that the Cowboys would have a better record than the Rams with a backup quarterback, they would have thought those fans were insane. Now heading into their week five matchup, it’s not so crazy to think that despite it being a road game, the Cowboys can beat the Rams.
What Signs Point Towards Cowboys Winning
For starters, the Cowboys’ defense has been as impressive of a start as any fans have seen in quite some time. It’s the first time that a Cowboys’ defensive unit has allowed less than 20 points in each of their first four games since the 1973 season. Outside of their rush defense (which will be covered later in the article), they are in the top 10 in almost every defensive category.
One of the biggest reasons for their success has been the pressure they have applied on the quarterback. As mentioned earlier, they are second in the league in sacks. They displayed those skills in their 25-10 win over the Washington Commanders Sunday when they pressured Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz over 40 percent of the snaps.
If there is any stat to focus on for Sunday’s game, it might be the fact that Stafford has thrown more interceptions than any other quarterback in the league this season with six. Figuring that the Cowboys have one of the top ball hawks in the league at cornerback with Trevon Diggs, it could be a potentially big game for him. He’s also tied for second for a most sacked quarterback in the NFL with 16. Dallas’ front seven could have some fun especially since the Rams offensive line allowed seven sacks in their 24-9 loss to the 49ers Monday night.
The defense will be spotlighted for the Cowboys on Sunday, but fans can’t ignore what the offense has done for Dallas this season. Every game has been impressive in points going up starting with three, 20, 23, and 25 in their four games. Turnovers have been a key as they have played clean football for three straight games with no turnovers.
Does This Mean The Cowboys Will Win?
Fans shouldn’t jump the gun and claim the Cowboys to be victorious based on what the statistics say. It should give fans hope though that the team will be able to go into Los Angeles Sunday and be competitive. It won’t be an easy win for the Cowboys, but it will at least give them hope that even though the Rams are defending Super Bowl champs, they can be beaten.
All the Rams have shown so far is they don’t play well against an elite defense and beat up on subpar teams. Lucky for the Cowboys, while their offense is not in the top half of the league, their defense is among one of the best in the NFL. The only concern for the Cowboys heading into Sunday is how they will stop the run.
The Cowboys’ defense has allowed the sixth more yards on the ground in the NFL with 550 yards through four games. Dallas allowed 142 rushing yards in their win against Washington which was one of their weaker games against the run this season. Good news though for the Cowboys is the Rams’ offense is the third worst in rush offense with only 274 yards in four games.
Sunday is going to be a challenge for both teams as both defenses are strong and both offenses are up and down in performance. It will come down to whoever defense makes the most plays and creates the most turnovers. The game will be won and lost up front with the lines. When fans watch each team though, Dallas clearly has the hot hand and could be in position for a big road win Sunday.