Gut Feeling

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Gut Feeling: Staff Predictions For Cowboys-Rams


There's a lot of talk about "Cooper" this week as the Cowboys get ready for the Rams.

Can Cooper Rush win four straight games this year in place of Dak Prescott? Can the Cowboys figure out how to stop Rams receiver Cooper Kupp?

Either way, those two "Coopers" should play a huge role in the outcome of Sunday's game at SoFi Stadium.

The staff gives their 'gut feeling' for this Week 4 matchup.

Kyle Youmans: This is a true example of a "gut feeling" this week. My mind is telling me that the reigning Super Bowl champions are at home and are upset after losing a rivalry game against San Francisco. They're going to find a rhythm on offense because Sean McVay doesn't go very long without having any success. However, this is not that week. The confidence level in the defensive unit is at an all-time high and there's a momentum on that side of the ball that should disrupt any Rams attempt to get back on track. Dallas has to start fast, much like they did against Cincinnati, and I think they will. Give me the Cowboys 27-17 on the road.

Rob Phillips: Fun fact from my colleague Kyle Youmans: The Rams' 0-1 start this season was the first time Sean McVay has ever been under .500 with L.A. The defending champs aren't used to that. You know they'll be motivated to avoid 2-3 Sunday. And at some point, the Rams offense will get on track. (They had three red zone trips against the 49ers that resulted in just nine points.) All that said, I'm riding with the Cowboys defense once again and taking Dallas in another relatively low-scoring game, something like 23-20. The Rams offensive line is dealing with multiple injuries, and the Dallas defense is getting healthier with Jayron Kearse on his way back to the lineup. The key for me is finding a way to re-establish the run game with Jason Peters doubtful to play Sunday. The Cowboys have to get out of second- and third-and-long. If they can avoid those pitfalls against Aaron Donald, they'll have a great chance to get to 4-1.

Mickey Spagnola: Well, let's start here. "We're nobody's underdog," thanks to Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy. Let's go. And why would any coach in his right mind give any credence to a betting line. But you know what, before McCarthy even said that, had the first line of my Friday column already written: "Why not the Cowboys," as in, why can't they beat the Rams. Yeah, they're the Rams, but they aren't the same Rams Super Bowl winning team. Just feel like the Cowboys defense will hold a struggling offense to a reasonable number of points. Maybe even contribute some points to the cause. Give me the Cowboys, 24-21, setting up next Sunday night's battle for first place in the NFC East with the Eagles.

Patrik Walker: The Cowboys have 99 problems going into their Week 5 bout with the Los Angeles Rams, but they're hoping Aaron Donald isn't one. The perennial game-wrecker will not only need to be located and accounted for on every single offensive snap for Cooper Rush and Co., but that's only half the battle. The other half is stopping him, and that will be far from easy, especially with fellow future Hall of Famer Bobby Wagner behind him and All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey stalking the secondary. That said, it's also a Rams team that is in shambles on the offensive line - possibly opening the flood gates for Neville Gallimore, Chauncey Golston, Trysten Hill and Quinton Bohanna. If the Cowboys can dominate there and keep Matthew Stafford unable to go through his reads, there will be takeaway opportunities for all - from the secondary forward - and the Rams must themselves account for a game-wrecker in Micah Parsons (along with DeMarcus Lawrence and others) for a Cowboys defense that leads the league in pressures. It will feel like a bit of a home game for the Cowboys as well, so give me Dallas in a close one. 24-20, Cowboys

Nick Eatman: I'm trying to block out all the extra stuff when thiking about this game – but ultimately it doesn't matter. Does it matter the Rams are defending Super Bowl champs? Not really because they're not playing that way, but although they're still a good team with great players, last year doesn't matter here in October. Ok, what about playing on the road? Yeah, we've been to SoFi before and many games in LA. The Cowboys fans don't just "travel well," they live there. Not a factor. What about the fact the Cowboys have won three straight behind Cooper Rush. When is it going to end? Who knows, but we all thought it'd be over by now. They don't have to win four straight, just one in a row this week. And what about the point spread being 5 points for the Rams? Well, Vegas hasn't picked the Cowboys game right all season. They've been at least 10 points off in every outcome. So, that being said, I'll take the Cowboys' defense to control the Rams again and win this one 20-14.

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