Check out photos from the Los Angeles Rams practice as the team prepares to face the Dallas Cowboys.
The Rams held a non-padded session on Wednesday afternoon at Cal Lutheran, kicking off their practice week for the Cowboys. The team will be on the road once again in Week 4, travelling to AT&T Stadium for Sunday's matchup.
After practice the Rams released their first injury report of the week. Eight players were listed on the release, including left tackle Andrew Whitworth and outside linebacker Connor Barwin. Both were held out of Wednesday's session for rest, as part of the team's "maintenance program" meant to keep many of the veteran players healthy for game action.
Wide receivers Tavon Austin and Sammy Watkins (concussion) both returned to the field, but were limited participants. Both wideouts were placed in the concussion protocol following last Thursday's game.
Also returning to practice on Wednesday were running back Malcolm Brown and cornerback Kayvon Webster. Webster has been inactive for the past two games after injuring his shoulder in the season opener against the Colts, while Brown was held out of Week 3's contest against the 49ers after injuring his hamstring the previous week.
Safety Lamarcus Joyner and center John Sullivan did not take the field on Wednesday afternoon as they continue to rehab a hamstring injury and groin injury, respectively.
KEEPING THE COWBOYS ON THEIR TOES**
Entering Week 4, the Rams have been sported one of the best offenses in the league. The club currently ranks No. 1 with a whopping 107 points in three games. The team also holds sole possession of the top spot in the NFC West.
Not only are the Rams putting points on the board, but they are also doing it in style. Last week, quarterback Jared Goff recorded one of the best performances of his career, completing 22-of-28 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns. He was also able to distribute the ball to a variety of different targets and the offense as a whole showed efficiency on the ground and in the passing game.
Also on Thursday night, running back Todd Gurley recorded his first 100-yard rushing game since 2015, while wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods both topped 100 receiving yards. It was the first time the Rams have had two players with at least 100 yards receiving since 2006.
When asked on Wednesday what makes the offense run so efficiently, Woods said, "everything" — alluding to the team's ability to combine the passing game with the ground game along with their consistency in first-down situations.
"The offense, the scheme and the plan of the offense to spread the ball around and get guys going," Woods said. "Being out there, you see defenses just running the wrong way at times [because] our offense is keeping defenses on edge and I think it shows. It's showing in our play and our offensive play."
This week against the Cowboys, the Rams will need to keep the defense on its toes once again. Though the Dallas secondary is young, featuring rookie safety Xavier Woods and cornerback Jourdan Lewis, Woods readily acknowledged the physicality of the Cowboys' defense as a whole.
"[They're] a good defense, we see them flying around," he said. "A fast defense. They're able to just disguise and you see them they play solid and fly to the ball. [Just] a fast group of guys that like to attack the quarterback and attack the ball."
And although the team is riding high after a gritty win over the 49ers, the Rams know that there is still much to improve.
"We just turn on the tape and yeah you see the good plays, but you also see the bad ones. It's early and it's no time to get fat and happy, it's only time to keep grinding and keep getting better," right guard Jamon Brown said. "The main focus for us this year is to take it one [game] at a time. We're not really judging off last year, but we're trying to control what we can control this year."
A RICH HISTORY AGAINST DALLAS
The Rams and the Cowboys have a long history of playing against each other, with the series dating back to 1960 when the teams first met. In that year, the Rams were entering their 23rd season in the NFL while the Cowboys were entering their first. In 1960 the Rams would finish ahead of just one team in the Western Conference — The Dallas Cowboys.
From that year on, many Rams and Cowboys greats have graced the field as part of the rivalry including Hall of Famers Roger Staubach, Jack Youngblood, and Eric Dickerson.
And though the two teams have not met in the regular season since 2014, they have faced off in the preseason in each of the last two years.
After practice on Wednesday, McVay told reporters he had an immense "appreciation for what's taken place before I was fortunate to get into this league," and said he was very familiar with the history between both teams.
"I've always been a fan of the game," McVay said. "I think one of the things that our guys have done a great job with and really, you go to our alumni association embracing the past and you do some different things where I think that's what's so special about this game, is appreciating the guys that have done it before these players and made the Rams what they are."
"Then you also appreciate the rivalries that existed going back to the '70s," he continued. "But, I think that embracing that history is part of it, I think it's also important to know that this is a storied franchise on both ends and we've got a great challenge. Like I've said over and over, what Coach Jason Garrett's done with his team, it's going to be a great challenge and an excellent atmosphere and I know our guys are looking forward to it."