Check out in-game photos from the Rams' matchup with the Cowboys in Dallas.
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Cowboys have controlled the game throughout the first two quarters, and take a 24-16 lead over the Rams into halftime. Here are some notes from the first 30 minutes.
*DALLAS BALL CONTROL *
The Cowboys moved the ball well against Los Angeles' defense to start the game, finishing the first quarter with over 10 minutes of possession time. The home team's first drive went seven plays and took 3:30 off the clock. But its second went from the middle of the first quarter to early in the second, spanning 8:02.
The 15-play, 81-yard drive ended with running back Ezekiel Elliott taking in a 10-yard touchdown pass. On 3rd-and-7, quarterback Dak Prescott found Elliott on a swing pass to the offense's left. The running back avoided a pair of Rams defenders to get in the end zone for a scoring strike.
In all, the Cowboys possessed the ball 18:00 in the first half, en route to scoring 24 points.
RUN DEFENSE WOES CONTINUE
Los Angeles entered Sunday's game surrendering nearly 140 yards per game on the ground, and Dallas took advantage of that in the first half.
After Greg Zuerlein's second field-goal of the afternoon, Dallas running back Alfred Morris took the first play from scrimmage 70 yards to the L.A. five-yard line. A few plays later, Elliott ran in a one-yard touchdown for his second score of the day.
*SPECIAL TEAMS COMES THROUGH *
Wide receiver Pharoh Cooper said this week he felt like the Rams would be able to break a kickoff sooner or later this season, and that was the case early in the second quarter.
Fielding a kick just inside the goal line, Cooper raced to his right and was able to get down the field for a 66-yard return to set L.A. up at the Dallas 35.
Zuerlein would kick a 44-yard field goal to get the Rams points off the strong field position.
Then later in the second quarter, defensive back Blake Countess forced returner Ryan Switzer to fumble a Johnny Hekker punt. Troy Hill was there to recover the loose ball at the Dallas 18-yard line, giving L.A. prime field position.
The offense would take care of business, with quarterback Jared Goff completing a seven-yard touchdown pass to wideout Cooper Kupp to make the score 17-13, Dallas.
SMART STARTS, BROCKERS MOVES TO END
The Rams made one adjustment to its starting defensive line, inserting sixth-round pick Tanzel Smart in at nose tackle and moving Michael Brockers over to a five-technique 3-4 defensive end.
The change worked well on Los Angeles' first defensive drive, as Brockers sacked Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott on 3rd-and-5 to force a 34-yard field goal attempt.
Brockers finished with two total tackles — one for loss — a sack, and a pass deflection in the first half.