For the first time this season, the Cowboys have a chance to start a winning streak this weekend in St. Louis – something they only managed twice last season. A win on Sunday against the Rams would give the Cowboys a 2-1 record with five of their next six games coming at home.
Much like the Cowboys, the Rams are coming off a road win after a disappointing home opener, and they'll be looking to get on a roll of their own.
Here are the Week 3 gut feelings from staff writers Nick Eatman, Bryan Broaddus, Rowan Kavner and David Helman.
Nick Eatman:My opinion of Rams has been a rollercoaster ride this past week and they've only played one game. Losing so badly to the Vikings at home was surprising, then beating the Bucs on the road was, as well.
But the way Tampa looked Thursday night in Atlanta, what can you really tell about that close victory the Rams had last week? I guess it doesn't matter. What we know is that it won't be easy to go up to St. Louis and get a win. I think the Cowboys are the better team, but it doesn't always matter. To me, whoever strikes first will probably win. The Cowboys have seen that firsthand the last two weeks, and if they can get an early lead and establish the run, it'll play right into their hands. If they're having to play catch-up, it favors the Rams. I see Terrance Williams or Cole Beasley having a nice day because they will get plenty of looks. I won't be surprised if DeMarco Murray is held to less than 100 yards because they will make sure and stop that part. This one will be close but Dan Bailey saves the Cowboys late – possibly on a record-breaking field goal.
Bryan Broaddus:Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams knows that his run defense is bad and, there really isn't anything that he can do to correct that. He can start Aaron Donald at defensive tackle instead of
Kendall Langford, and that would help to get a tackle or two behind the line of scrimmage, but Langford continues to start. Williams will try and walk safeties up like he has the previous two weeks, but just take a look at where those adjustments have landed him. The Rams are not physical enough to play toe-to-toe with this Cowboys offensive front and win this game upfront playing that way. The Rams have built their defense to rush the passer, and until they find a way to stop the run that will not happen. DeMarco Murray has over 145 yards on the ground and leaves St. Louis extending his mark as the top rusher in the NFL.
Rowan Kavner: It's hard to project how teams will look by the end of the year after only two games, but this appears to be one of the most winnable games the Cowboys are going to have the rest of the way, particularly considering the quarterback issues in St. Louis. That said, the Cowboys have some problems of their own, particularly at linebacker with Rolando McClain and Justin Durant banged up. I think if McClain can't go, this defense looks completely different and the Rams will have some success on the ground. I think DeMarco Murray makes it three straight games with 100 yards on the ground and Cole Beasley ends the day with the most catches for the Cowboys, who edge out the win by a point in St. Louis. [embedded_ad]
David Helman:I tend to think of myself as the most pessimistic writer on this staff, but I am incredibly confident that the Cowboys can go into St. Louis and get a win – and a comfortable one, at that. The Rams are allowing an average of 151 yards on the ground, and I basically just don't believe they'll be able to handle DeMarco Murray and this offensive line. Regardless of who St. Louis starts at quarterback, be it Austin Davis or Shaun Hill, I don't think he'll make enough throws to expose the Dallas defense. Zac Stacy should have some success if Rolando McClain isn't mopping up tackles in the middle, but I'm not sure he can get more than 100. I think Murray is going to have three rushing touchdowns, and Jason Witten will catch one. Cowboys will win – something like 34-20.