Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams Preview
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, CA
When: Saturday, August 12, 2017, 9:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NFL Network
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Betting on the Dallas Cowboys (-2.5)
The Cowboys got off to a very good start in preseason as they came from 15 points down to beat the Arizona Cardinals 20-18 in the Hall of Fame game. Kellen Moore took the majority of the snaps at quarterback and finished a solid 12-of-17 for 182 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, running back Rod Smith impressed with a team-high 64 yards on 18 carries.
After sitting out against Arizona, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dez Bryant will likely make their preseason debuts against the Rams. However, don’t expect any of them to get too much playing time. Instead, look for the Cowboys to continue giving the likes of Moore, Smith, rookie QB Cooper Rush, and Rico Gathers the chance to impress.
Gathers, a second-year tight end, has shown signs of improvement from last season, and he only did himself a lot of good with his performance against the Cards (three catches, 59 yards, one TD).
Meanwhile, a few Cowboys – veteran left tackle Tyron Smith, as well as rookies Ryan Switzer and Jourdan Lewis – have returned to training after suffering injuries, and could also feature for the first time in preseason.
Betting on the Los Angeles Rams (+2.5)
The Rams are set to be in action for the first time under new head coach Sean McVay. The big focus of everyone’s attention will be the progress of last year’s No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Jared Goff, who struggled mightily during his rookie year. Running back Todd Gurley will also be looking to put up a strong performance in preseason after suffering a massive sophomore slump last year.
Neither is likely to play significant minutes against the Cowboys, though. Backups Sean Mannion and Malcolm Brown should get the lion’s share of the snaps. Those two starred in the Rams’ 28-24 win over the Cowboys in Week 1 of preseason last year. Mannion went 18-of-25 for 147 yards and three touchdowns, while Brown added 66 yards on just eight carries.
McVay will also be eager to see how his rejiggered offensive line will fare after he switched Rob Havenstein to tackle and moved Jamon Brown inside to guard.
And speaking of lines, the Rams will be shorthanded along the defensive line after Dominique Easley’s ACL tear and Aaron Donald’s continued contract holdout. Louis Trinca-Pasat and Ethan Westbrooks will start either side of Michael Brockers as the Rams look to find some solutions.
Mannion shines against the Cowboys reserves as the Rams (+2.5) make it back-to-back preseason wins over Dallas.
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