First Look: Rams travel to Dallas to face Cowboys

The Los Angeles Rams will take a break from NFC West play this week with a road game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in a rematch of last year's divisional playoff game.

In advance of the contest, here's an early look at the Cowboys, including notable additions, their top statistical performers in their most recent game, where they rank in certain statistical categories and key storylines.

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Notable additions

  • Signed kicker Kai Forbath on Monday. Brett Maher's recent and season-long struggles – he was 20 of 30 on field goal attempts through the first 13 games of the season – prompted the Cowboys to make a change and turn to Forbath as his replacement. Forbath has kicked in only one game so far this season, making a 23-yard field goal and going 1 of 2 on extra point attempts for the Patriots against the Texans on Dec. 1.
  • Traded for defensive end Robert Quinn in March. A familiar name to Rams fans having spent his first seven NFL seasons with the club, Quinn was acquired from the Dolphins this spring in exchange for a 2020 sixth-round draft pick. Though Quinn was suspended for two games this season, he's still on pace to finish with double-digit sacks for the first time since 2014.

Top performers in Week 14

Quarterback Dak Prescott completed 27 of 49 pass attempts for 334 yards and one touchdown in a 31-24 loss to the Bears on Thursday Night Football.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott handled almost all of the work for the Cowboys backfield with a team-high 19 carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Prescott (three for one yard) was the only other player to record a rushing attempt.

Tight end Blake Jarwin and wide receivers Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper each led Dallas with six receptions; Jarwin tallied 50 receiving yards, while Gallup had 109 and Cooper 83.

Defensively, safety Darian Thompson recorded a team-best nine tackles and added one sack.

On special teams, Maher made 1 of 2 field goal tries and all three of his extra point attempts.

Rankings

Offense

  • Points Per Game: 9th (25.7)
  • Yards Per Game: 1st (430.8)
  • Passing Yards Per Game: 1st (306.8)
  • Rushing Yards Per Game: 10th (124.1)

Defense

  • Points Allowed Per Game: 12th (20.5)
  • Yards Allowed Per Game: 9th (326.2)
  • Passing Yards Allowed Per Game: 7th (216.4)
  • Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game: 19th (109.8)

Early storylines to watch, and what they mean for the Rams

The Cowboys enter this week as one of the more fascinating teams in the NFL.

They're one of the league's most talented teams, as their statistical rankings in several key categories show and narrowly lost to several teams scheduled to qualify for the playoffs. Still, their corresponding 6-7 record is enough for a share of first place in their division with the Eagles, and, thanks to their Week 7 win over Philadelphia, they own the head-to-head tiebreaker for the fourth seed in the NFC playoff picture.

Rams head coach Sean McVay said Monday that record doesn't reflect the kind of team the Cowboys are. They have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL and plenty to play for in front of a home crowd on Sunday, so Los Angeles should expect a highly-motivated Dallas squad that won't make L.A.'s own continued playoff push easy.

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