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From the Podium: Sean McVay, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, Mike LaFleur, Raheem Morris, Chase Blackburn and Cooper Kupp preview Week 8 at Cowboys

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams head coach Sean McVay and quarterback Matthew Staffordeach held press conferences with local media Wednesday to preview Sunday's game against the Cowboys in Dallas, discussing what they've seen from the Cowboys defense, McVay becoming a dad for the first time on Tuesday and more.

On Thursday, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn and wide receiver Cooper Kuppmet with local media to discuss their impressions of Micah Parsons and the Cowboys defense, running back Myles Gaskin's progress and more.

Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those conversations.

"He's here, he's healthy, he's feeling good." – McVay

  • McVay's wife Veronika gave birth to the couple's first child on Tuesday, a baby boy named Jordan John McVay.
  • McVay said he hasn't gotten any sleep since his son's birth, but "the adrenaline helps."

"It's always fun going back." – Stafford

  • Though Stafford was born in Florida, he tells people he's from Dallas – he played his high school football at Highland Park – which makes this Sunday's game a homecoming of sorts for him. 
  • This will be the fifth time in Stafford's career he's played against the Cowboys in Dallas and first since 2018 when he was with the Lions.

"Speed, relentless, and he finds ways to make plays." – Donald

  • Donald has seen Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons play from watching games on TV, and noticed how fast he plays, the different ways Dallas uses him, and how Dallas runs different kinds of stunts with him. 
  • "He's a guy (who) you gotta know where he's at every single play," Donald said.

"He's coming along comfortably." – LaFleur

  • LaFleur is pleased with the progress he's observed from running back Myles Gaskin since Gaskin joined the team last week. 
  • "He's fitting right in, and you know when he gets his opp, he's going to be ready," LaFleur said.

"Really proud of him, just being able to bounce out there and being able pick up for his brother that had some issues last week that he had deal with." – Morris

  • Derion Kendrick's situation early last week led to the Rams using Cobie Durant - who has primarily played at the star position – on the outside some against the Steelers. 
  • Morris said that like any situation where a player plays well, it's something you explore more.

"Been very pleased (with Austin Trammell)." – Blackburn

  • Aside from the fumble on one return, Blackburn has liked what he's seen so far from wide receiver and punt returner Austin Trammell in that role. 
  • "He has no fear back there, which is the number one thing you need as a returner," Blackburn said.

"I remember Todd (Gurley) catching a really long seam route down the right side." – Kupp

  • One of Kupp's most vivid memories from games against the Cowboys is former Rams running back Todd Gurley's 53-yard touchdown catch when the two teams faced each other in 2017. 
  • "I remember it was a good day," Kupp said of what was a 35-30 Rams win in Dallas that year.

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