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Cowboys @ Rams

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http://hosted.stats.com/fb/preview.asp?g=20190112014&home=14&vis=6

The Cowboys and Rams have met an NFL-record nine times in the playoffs, with each team winning four. Most recently, the Rams beat Dallas in the 1985 NFC Divisional Round, 35-30, in a game which saw Eric Dickerson set an all-time postseason record with 248 rushing yards.

Dallas has lost seven straight road playoff games since winning the 1992 NFC Championship Game at San Francisco and has lost each of its last five divisional playoff games. NFC home teams are 7-1 in the divisional round since 2014, but Dallas has the only loss (versus Green Bay in 2016).

The Rams ranked second in the NFL this season in scoring average (32.9), fifth in passing (281.7 yards per game) and third in rushing (139.4). This is the third Rams team in the Super Bowl era to rank in the NFL top five in each of those categories. The other two seasons were 1999 (won SB) and 2001 (lost SB).

Ezekiel Elliott is one of five players to rush for at least 125 yards in each of his first two playoff games. Houston's Arian Foster is the only one that extended his streak to three games.

Todd Gurley II rushed for 17 TDs this season, most in the NFL, despite playing only 14 games. The Rams went 8-0 when Gurley rushed for at least 70 yards compared to 3-3 when he didn't. Gurley is looking to become the first Rams player ever with at least 100 rushing yards in each of his first two playoff games.

Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks each had at least 80 receptions and 1200 receiving yards this season, making the Rams one of three teams with two such players (also the Chiefs and Steelers). The only other season in NFL history which had three teams with two players reaching those totals was 2000 (Rams, Jaguars and Broncos).

 

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The question is who gets sucked into the other's pace first? The Rams can't win if they're getting bullied by the Cowboys front, and the Cowboys won't win if the Rams build up an early lead. History tends to favour the defensive team in this equation, but the Cowboys aren't exactly a stout defense, so much as they are an aggressive one. If Goff has time to set up playaction, and their line holds for a few seconds, they can put up points on those weak defensive backs. This could go either way, but I like the Rams here.

:Rams: 34

:Cowboys: 21

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