The odds were definitely against the Dallas Cowboys heading into Saturday night’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. However, if they could play their game—run the ball well and stop the Rams from running the ball – they had a shot at upsetting the Rams.
But they couldn’t do either and lost to the Rams, 30-22.
The Rams defense shut down Ezekiel Elliot for the majority of the game holding him to 47 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. The real surprise, though, was how easily the Rams ran the ball on the Cowboys defense.
Dallas had the No. 5 rushing defense in the league during the regular season allowing just 94.6 yards a game and only 3.8 yards a carry. Through all 16 regular season games, they allowed three running backs to gain 100+ yards.
The Rams ended up running the ball 48 times for 273 yards (an average of 5.7 yards a carry). Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson ran for over 100 yards. Anderson led the way with 123 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. Gurley ended the day with 115 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Teammates with 100+ Rush Yards
Last 30 Postseasons
• Terrell Davis & Derek Loville
(DEN, 1997 Wild Card)
• Michael Vick & Warrick Dunn
(ATL, 2004 Div Rd)
• Colin Kaepernick & Frank Gore
(SF, 2012 Div Rd)
• Todd Gurley & C.J. Anderson
(LAR, 2018 Div Rd)#NFLPlayoffs
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 13, 2019
Despite their inability to stop the running game, the Cowboys were able to keep the game relatively close. The defense didn’t break on the first two Rams drives; they only bent and forced the Rams to settle for a pair of field goals.
Dallas scored on their first drive of the game. But couldn’t get back on the board until late in the third quarter when Ezekiel Elliot plunged in from one-yard out. With the two-point conversion, the Cowboys were just down by eight, 23-15, with over a quarter left to play.
After forcing the Rams to punt on their net possession the Cowboys had a chance to close the gap. But they went for it on fourth and one at the Rams 35 and failed to convert. The Rams answered with a 12-play, 65-yard touchdown drive that took nearly eight minutes off the clock.
The Cowboys were able to score again and pull back within a score. But since they couldn’t stop the Rams from running, Los Angeles was able to run the clock out and secure the win.
The Rams will play the winner of Sunday’s Saints-Eagles game next week in the NFC Championship game.