The Los Angeles Rams welcome the Dallas Cowboys to the inaugural game at the new SoFi Stadium. The Rams are hoping to improve on a 9-7 2019 season that left them in 3rd place in the NFC West.
Dallas is hoping to retake their place atop the NFC East, a position they held for most of 2019, until late-season failures by the team, and heroics by the Eagles left the Cowboys 2nd, and out of the playoffs. Both teams made significant moves over the offseason, hoping to make a stronger playoff run in 2020.
Place: SoFi stadium in Inglewood, California
Date: September 13
Time: The live coverage will start at 7:00 pm and the match will start at 8:20 pm.
TV Channel: NBC
Live Stream: NBC Sports App
Stream: Watch Live
The Rams traded WR Brandin Cooks to the Texans for a 2020 2nd-round pick, which they turned into former Florida WR Van Jefferson. The idea is for Jefferson to take Cooks’ spot in the offense. Adding him to the receiving corps that included Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods should pay huge dividends.
RB Todd Gurley was released after the 2019 season, and the guy that was supposed to compliment him, Darrell Henderson was underwhelming. So much so, the 3rd man on the roster at the time, Malcolm Brown supplanted him in the lineup.
To add more skill and depth to the running back room, the Rams drafted Florida State’s Cam Akers. Akers can be a weapon in both the ground game and through the air. Even though he’s a rookie, and currently behind Brown and Henderson on the depth chart, look for Akers to be the feature back before the season is over.
Defensively, Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald are still on the front line, with Leonard Floyd anchoring the linebackers. Newly extended CB Jalen Ramsey is the best in the secondary, but opposite him, Troy Hill, is still not someone to take likely. S Taylor Rapp is hoping to improve in his 2nd year, and John Johnson is solid at his free safety position.
Dak Prescott is still trying to prove the detractors wrong, and hopefully, with the new coaching staff and scheme, he’ll be able to do that. Ezekiel Elliott is coming off another impressive year, and Tony Pollard has proven that he can be a solid backup/change of pace option.
WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup hope once again to be the one-two punch they were a year ago, both amassing 1000 yards. Adding to the receiving corps is rookie CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma. A speedy guy with great hands, he could supplant Gallup as the number two within the first month.
The offensive line took a hit with C Travis Frederick retiring after recovering from Guillain-Barre. Joe Looney and Cameron Erving hope to be able to step in and continue the history of great Dallas lines.
TE Blake Jarwin steps in full time since the departure of Jason Witten. Blake Bell came over from Kansas City, hopefully to add depth and a wrinkle to an offense that likes to use two TEs.
Defensively though, they took a hit in the secondary. CB Byron Jones left in free agency to Miami, and rookie Trevon Diggs hopes to make up for the loss of production. Dontari Poe joins the line from Carolina, as DT Gerald McCoy was cut after suffering a major injury. DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford bookend the front line, and will be a force for the Rams offense to contain.
The linebackers are still Pro Bowl caliber, with Leighton Vander Esch as the anchor. Jaylen Smith, and newly reinstated Aldon Smith on the outside.
Even with the departure of Jones, CB Anthony Brown, and S Xavier Woods are still there, and cannot be ignored.
The Rams have to have a steady balance of pass and run, as their best plays come from play-action pass. They have the skills to do it, but how the Cowboys handle it is key.
Dallas has to get into the backfield, upset the game behind the line, whether it’s the run game, or through the air, the best way to keep the Rams offense at bay is to make the one-dimensional.
That’s not the same with Dallas. If the Rams are to win, its by taking a lead early. That’s how they take Elliot out of the game. If he is removed, the passing game can still be successful, but a predictable pffense is easier to beat.