Dallas Cowboys: Three Keys Against the Los Angeles Rams

The Dallas Cowboys made it another week into the NFL playoffs and they travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams in one of the 2 NFC Divisional round playoff matchups. In all honesty, they really just squeaked by the Seattle Seahawks due to the injury of Sebastian Janikowski. This week they will have to muster up some more magic in order to get beyond the Rams and face either divisional foe Philadelphia Eagles or the runaway train that is the New Orleans Saints. Here are three keys that I feel will need to occur in order for them to get to the next round.

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Pass Defense

Let’s face it if the Seahawks weren’t so committed to the run and threw the ball more, that game would have been a different story. The Dallas Cowboys secondary was porous at best. The secondary will have to defend better if it has any hope of keeping Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Josh Reynolds in check. One of the major points they will have to replicate is shutting down Todd Gurley in the passing game just like they did against Alvin Kamara in the win over the Saints. Defending all the above is a tall order and this secondary will have to bring their A-game to even keep this game close nevermind the win.

Amari Cooper

Cooper’s success this season has been streaky, ripping of giant games and then fading into the shadows for stretches. With the injuries to Allen Hurns and Cole Beasley, Cooper will need to play at the elite level that he is capable of. He will need to run great routes and be cognizant of coming back and helping Dak Prescott when needed. This should be attainable since he will be shadowed by Marcus Peters who is not having a year that he should be. Look for Dak to target Cooper early and often.

Offensive Line

The Dallas Cowboys offensive line has had its issues this season with injuries to key players and a lack of consistency and continuity. They draw a tough matchup facing a Rams strong defensive line anchored by Aaron Donald and his 20.5 sacks this season. If this line is not able to keep Donald at bay this is going to be a very long day for the entire offense. You can only tun the ball so much and Dak will need time to make plays down the field especially on third downs. In fact, they need to come together and play at a high level. Also, the coaching staff will have to scheme to keep Donald and the other pass rushers at bay.

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How do you feel about the Dallas Cowboys heading into the 2018 Divisional round? Leave a comment below.

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You can follow Stephen on twitter over @rendermann

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