Cowboys vs. Rams: 4 who must step up for Dallas
The Dallas Cowboys will face off against the team that ousted them from the playoff last year. Here are four players who’ll need to step up to beat the Rams.
The 2018 Los Angeles Rams went all the way to the Super Bowl last season. In order to make it to the big game, they literally ran through the Dallas Cowboys during the NFC divisional round to the tune of 273 total rushing yards.
Now, the Cowboys are forced to face the Rams in another pivotal matchup. This time with a playoff berth in the balance. Dallas currently sits atop the NFC East, tied with the Philadelphia Eagles as both have a 6-7 record with the Cowboys defeating the Birds back in Week Seven.
Dallas could clinch the division with a victory over Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon and a win in Philly next week. But in order to get the “W” over the surging Rams squad, these four players will need to step up their games.
Xavier Su’a-Filo, Guard
Facing the league’s best defender in defensive tackle Aaron Donald, backup guard Xavier Su’a-Filo will need to step up his game on Sunday to hold back the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Su’a-FIlo will certainly get help from Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick, but it might take stellar performances from both to somehow limit Donald who has posted 11.0 sacks so far this season, 3.0 sacks over the last two games.
Robert Quinn, Defensive end
Robert Quinn played his first seven seasons with the Rams. And this will be the first time he’s facing his old team. Quinn currently leads the Cowboys with 9.5 sacks on the season, but hasn’t registered one in the past two games. He’ll need to get back on his horse if Dallas has any chance of defeating Los Angeles in Week 15.
Michael Gallup, wide receiver
Anyone watching the Cowboys games knows that number one wide receiver Amari Cooper hasn’t been playing like his old self as he’s dealing with a knee injury. The Rams possess one of the best secondaries in the NFL. So it will likely fall on second-year receiver Michael Gallup to make the Amari-type plays for Dallas in this matchup. Gallup is coming off a six-catch, 109-yard performance against the Chicago Bears, but he hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 10.
Joe Thomas, Linebacker
With linebacker Leighton Vander Esch ruled out for his fourth-straight game due to a neck injury and his primary backup, Sean Lee, questionable as he’s dealing with both pectoral and thigh injuries, the starting job may fall to veteran Joe Thomas. In his fifth-season in the NFL, Thomas has recorded 30 total tackles through 13 games. If he starts on Sunday against the Rams, it will be his first with Dallas and only his ninth start of his entire NFL career.