As the Dallas Cowboys prepare to play the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, the Cowboys ability to make big chunk plays could turn out to be the Rams’ downfall.
Tied 14-14 heading into the fourth quarter of Monday night’s Week Three matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott connected on a 37-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brice Butler that gave Dallas the lead. The two also connected for beautiful 53-yard pass in the same contest.
Those two catches, his only two of the night, gave Butler a fairly nice stat line in the 28-17 victory over the Cards. The Cowboys deep threat finished the game with two receptions on two targets for 90 yards and a score, averaging an eye-popping 45 yards per catch.
According to one Cowboys insider, those types of chunk plays could be exactly what the Cowboys need in order to defeat the Rams this Sunday.
"“[The Rams are] allowing an alarming rate of big plays,” wrote football analyst Bryan Broaddus on the team’s official website. “Through three games they’ve allowed 15 plays of 20-plus yards…They’re last in the league when it comes to allowing yards after the catch. The Cowboys have the personnel to make them pay if they continue this trend.”"
Although a player like Butler could be the X-factor in this game, the Cowboys gameplan likely revolves around their own rushing attack against the Rams’ soft run defense. With Los Angeles currently ranked 28th in defending the run, those big chunk plays could easily come from Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Through three games, the Rams defense has allowed opposing teams to rush for a total of 417 yards on the ground. In Week Two, three different Washington Redskins’ running backs were able to gash Los Angeles for 222 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Last week, the Rams allowed San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde to rush for 84 yards and two scores.
Coming off a game where he rushed for 80 yards on 22 carries and his first touchdown of the season, Ezekiel Elliott seems poised to have a big game behind the Dallas Cowboys dominate offensive line. And if the Cowboys passing game could complete a couple big chunk plays through the air against the Rams secondary as well, that wouldn’t hurt.