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Big Picture: 5 Storylines for Cowboys & Rams


Here we go Cowboys Nation. The Cowboys are firing on all cylinders after their Week 4 win over the Commanders that saw them extend their win streak to three games. Michael Gallup made an instant impact upon his return with a touchdown and CeeDee Lamb stayed hot. Cooper Rush made history and Trevon Diggs reminded the league why he's a No. 1 cornerback.

But Week 5 presents maybe the toughest challenge yet. The reigning Super Bowl champs in the Rams stand in the way of the Cowboys quest for their fourth straight win. Los Angeles struggled on Monday Night Football in a loss to the 49ers where they failed to score a touchdown in Sean McVay/Matthew Stafford era.

It's a battle of two glamour franchises and one that could have huge ramifications in the NFC later this season, so here are five storylines for each squad ahead of Sunday's game at SoFi Stadium.


  • Dak Prescott has not been ruled out of Sunday's game with the Rams, but it doesn't seem likely he will make his return this week. Not only did owner/GM Jerry Jones tell 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday that Dak is still having issues gripping the ball, but head coach Mike McCarthy said he wants Dak to have a full week of practice before he plays again. That would mean him practicing Wednesday.
  • Cooper Rush continues to win with each passing start he has, including becoming the first quarterback in franchise history to win each of his first four starts. Though he hasn't quite seen a defense like he will see on Sunday. Aaron Donald is still widely considered the best defensive player in the sport, while Bobby Wagner and Jalen Ramsey are as good as it gets at the linebacker and corner spot, respectively.
  • The Cowboys lost a vital member of their special teams' unit during their win over the Commanders on long snapper Jake McQuaide. who suffered a torn triceps on his final rep of the day and was subsequently placed on the season-ending injured reserve. The Cowboys worked out four long snappers on Tuesday and will likely sign one, if not two to the practice squad. McQuaide's spot on the roster could go to quarterback Will Grier, who can be called up from the practice squad again and needs to be on the 53-man roster in order to back up Rush Sunday.
  • The defense, man. They picked up two more sacks against the Commanders last week thanks to former Ram Dante Fowler and Neville Gallimore to increase their total to 15 sacks. Micah Parsons has not recorded one since Week 2, whereas the Rams allowed seven sacks to 49ers last week. The Cowboys lead the league in pressure rate, and with the Rams' offensive line struggling with injuries this might be the storyline of the game.
  • CeeDee Lamb has caught fire in the last two weeks and racked up another six catches for 97 yards and a touchdown in his last outing. But Michael Gallup returned in that game as well showed why the Cowboys value him so much and his ability to stretch the field. He recorded both of his catches on third down, including his touchdown, and showed that he and Rush already have solid chemistry. Dallas can only stand to benefit from the continuation of that against Los Angeles.


  • Cooper Kupp is amazing, that much we know. The reigning Super Bowl MVP and triple crown winner has picked up where he left off this season with 42 catches for over 400 yards and three scores, all of which lead the Rams by a wide margin. The issue? Matthew Stafford has struggled to find anyone else to get the ball to outside of Kupp. For example, Kupp had 14 catches on 19 targets for 122 yards against the 49ers with the next closest player in terms of production came from tight end Tyler Higbee with 10 catches and 73 yards.
  • Though the offensive line has been an area of strength for the Rams over the last several season, that has not been the case this season. The loss of left tackle Andrew Whitworth to retirement didn't help, but injuries to center Brandon Allen and guard David Edwards have been key blows as well as they have allowed 16 sacks this season. Those issues played out in the worst of ways against the 49ers when they allowed seven sacks, all while seeing even more injuries to an offensive line that is having its' depth tested.
  • Matthew Stafford did not throw an interception at any point in the fourth quarter last season during his run to his first Super Bowl. This season? He's already thrown three through four weeks. The Dallas native leads the league in picks with six for a team that has nine total giveaways this season to just seven takeaways. With Trevon Diggs and his prowess for interceptions looming, Stafford will have his work cut out for him again.
  • The Rams have been one of the least effective teams in the league this season when it comes to running the football, averaging just about 69 yards a game and a little over three yards a carry. Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr. have combined for 256 yards and two scores, but for as great as the Cowboys' defense has been they have struggled to stop the run by allowing an average of five yards a carry and almost 138 yards a game.
  • While the Cowboys might own the all-time record against the Rams at 14-13, Sean McVay has never lost to the Cowboys in three career games against them. Dallas has only traveled to SoFi Stadium twice in its' brief history, with its first trip coming against the McVay and the Rams to open the 2020 season in a 20-17 loss.

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