Los Angeles opens the 2020 regular season on Sunday Night Football against Dallas with kickoff set for 5:20 p.m. pacific time on NBC.
In advance of the contest, here is your first look at Rams vs. Cowboys on Sept. 13 presented by SoFi, including notable additions, some of their top statistical performers from 2019 and key storylines:
Notable Cowboys additions
- Signed former Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein to a 3-year deal. In eight seasons with the Rams, Zuerlein converted 201 of 245 field goal attempts during the regular season and made 264 of 270 extra point attempts.
- Drafted Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in the first round (17th overall) of this year's NFL Draft. Regarded as one of the top receivers in this year's class, Lamb's 14 receiving touchdowns in his final collegiate season tied for fifth-most nationally, while his 21.4 yards per catch were third-most. His 102.1 receiving yards per game ranked 10th nationally, and he was one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award (given annually to nation's most outstanding receiver, regardless of position).
Top performers in 2019
QB Dak Prescott led the Cowboys' passing attack, completing 388 of 596 attempts for 4,902 yards with 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
RB Ezekiel Elliott paced Dallas' backfield with 301 rushing attempts for 1,357 yards and 12 touchdowns, all team-highs.
WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup emerged as Prescott's top passing targets. Cooper led the Cowboys with 79 catches for 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns, but Gallup wasn't far behind with 66 for 1,107 and six respectively.
LB Jaylon Smith posted a team-high 142 total tackles for the Cowboys' defense, tied for sixth-most among all defensive players during the 2019 regular season.
CB Jourdan Lewis and safety Xavier Woods each finished with two interceptions to lead the secondary.
On special teams, kicker Brett Maher went 20 for 30 on field goal attempts and 36 for 36 on extra point attempts but was replaced after 13 games by Kai Forbath, who was a perfect 10 for 10 on both field goal and extra point attempts. The team brought Forbath back after the season, then cut him before the start of training camp.
Early storylines to watch, and what they mean for the Rams
Whether those goals are realized remains to be seen, but it does make for an intriguing battle between both offenses under the lights at SoFi Stadium. The Cowboys finished No. 1 in the NFL in total offense last season, the Rams seventh. Entering 2020, the Cowboys have the No. 3 offensive arsenal in the league, according to ESPN, while the Rams' ranks 11th.
At the same time, while Dallas offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and much of the personnel that contributed to the league's most productive offense last year return, there are new wrinkles that Los Angeles defensive coordinator Brandon Staley and offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell will be mindful of.
New Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy handled playcalling duties for all but one of his nearly 13 years in the same position with the Green Bay Packers, but will let Moore, whom he retained from former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett's old staff, continue to handle those duties instead. Still, McCarthy figures to have a say in what the scheme will look like – so for Staley, his influence on Dallas' offense shouldn't be dismissed, and it shouldn't be assumed the Rams will be preparing for the exact same offense they faced last December at AT&T Stadium.
As for O'Connell, he'll be tasked with helping prepare the offense for new Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. While Nolan last held that position with the Atlanta Falcons from 2012-14, he has 17 years of experience as a defensive coordinator overall between stints with Atlanta, Miami, Denver, Baltimore, the Jets, Washington and the Giants dating back to 1993. Nolan has been coaching in the NFL since 1987.
Other storylines specific to the Rams:
- How do the carries get divvied up between the running backs in Week 1?
- What does the starting offensive line look like?
- How involved will rookie Van Jefferson be in the wide receiver rotation after a strong training camp?