As soon as the clock struck zero last Saturday night, and the Dallas Cowboys were officially the victors of their Wild Card match up, Cowboys fans got to debating over who they would rather face in round two: the Saints or the Rams.
It was basically universally agreed upon that the Cowboys should rather play the Rams than the Saints for a plethora of reasons.
For one, the home field advantage provided by the Superdome in New Orleans is considered greater than that of the Coliseum in Los Angeles. Plus the Cowboys hold their training camp in Oxnard, California so they already have a strong fan presence in Los Angeles which could tilt the crowd in their favor a bit this week.
Then, of course, there is the fact the Cowboys have already played and beat the Saints earlier in the year. It’s tough to beat a team twice in one year, especially when the rematch is on their home turf and they are coming off an extra week of rest the second time around.
But above all else, fans are perceiving the Rams as a lesser quality team than the Saints. Yes, they are the number two seed in the conference and were considered a top 3 team in the NFL throughout most of the season, but it just feels like Dallas has a better chance of beating Jared Goff and the Rams than they would Drew Brees and the Saints.
There is some truth to this belief, but with the way Cowboys Nation has been talking, it’s fair to wonder if they are underestimating the Los Angeles Rams. After all, they earned a first round bye and won 13 games this season for a reason. And, of course, they were the winners of what was claimed to be nationally as one of the best regular season games of all time against the AFC’s 1-seed.
The Rams are loaded with individual talent, there is no question about it. Rare are players like Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald, who anchor this explosive Los Angeles Rams team. Then there are there coaches, one of which is arguably a future Hall of Famer in Wade Phillips, and one who has been anointed the next-great head coach in Sean McVay.
And while it may not be the same feared atmosphere as the Superdome just yet, the Rams did have a clear home field advantage this season, winning 7 of their 8 home games in 2018. Not to mention, that Monday Night crowd when the Chiefs came to town was pretty raucous, even if it did not rattle Patrick Mahomes all that much.
Claiming a 13-3 2-seed is a good team is far from a hot take, but it feels like much of Cowboys Nation may be underrating just what their team is up against this Saturday night.
Let’s hope the talented Cowboys can be at the top of their game, and pull a big upset in the Divisional Round.