IRVING, Texas -- As the Cowboys get ready to make just their third-ever trip to St. Louis to play the Rams, we're once again bringing in the opposing perspective.
This is the third week of our opposing beat writer series, and we asked Rams Insider Myles Simmons to give us some insight on the St. Louis side of this matchup.1. Jeff Fisher has said that Shaun Hill will be the Rams' starter once he is healthy enough to play, though Austin Davis looked impressive in his first start last weekend. What does each quarterback bring to the St. Louis offense?
One of the great things about Shaun Hill is that he's been around this league for a long time and knows exactly what he has to do in order to be successful. He's also a strong leader, evidenced by being named a captain for the season. The players all speak very highly of him, and he's been effective in the limited time he's been on the field from preseason through the first half of Week 1.
Davis is younger and a little more raw, but he showed last week that he is capable of running the offense. He's been around the Rams for years, and thus knows the offense's playbook from cover to cover. And it was clear against the Buccaneers just how much a full week of practice with the first unit helped him.
2. The Rams' pass rush is tied for 31st in the league with just one sack through two games. Is this a case of the stats not representing reality, or is the defense struggling to generate pressure? [embedded_ad]
One of the interesting things that I've seen throughout the first couple of games is that opposing offenses have really tried to get rid of the ball quickly in order to negate that strong pass rush. It was clear Matt Cassel was trying to do that in Week 1, and though Josh McCown did not have as much success with it, he looked like he was trying to do something similar. I don't know that I'd go as far as saying that the stats do not represent reality, because they are what they are. But, the defensive stats released from the coaches' film review indicate that the Rams have tallied 18 quarterback pressures and eight quarterback hits through the two games. And six of those hits have come courtesy of Robert Quinn.
3. It looks like a lot of attention will focus on the battle of Pro Bowlers between Tyron Smith and Robert Quinn in this game. Aside from Quinn, who is a name Cowboys fans need to know when it comes to making an impact on the outcome?
I'll give you two -- one on offense and defense. Offensively, Brian Quick is a name to know, as he leads the team in receptions (14) and yards receiving (173). He really started to emerge as a prime target during the preseason, and that's continued through the first two games.
And on defense, keep an eye out for safety T.J. McDonald. He may have made his two biggest plays on special teams last week -- blocking both a punt and a field goal - - but he's strong player on D as well. He can play well coming up to defend the run, and also hits hard in center field defending the pass.