Drawing closer to the Cowboys before halftime with a Cooper Kupp touchdown set up by a Ryan Switzer muffed punt, the LA Rams rode this momentum to win the second half on the road 19-6.
With their 35-30 victory at AT&T Stadium, the Rams sent the Cowboys to 2-2 through the first quarter of the season. Let’s talk about what stood out from this loss in another edition of Sean’s Scout.
Final from @ATTStadium #LARvsDAL https://t.co/KekR6DgX1K
- Starting with Cooper Kupp, this was likely the best slot receiver that CB Orlando Scandrick has seen all season. Not needing much space in the red zone, Kupp turned a seven point swing on the short field following Switzer’s fumble by smoothly leaning to his right while accelerating so effortlessly left towards the goal line. Goff hit Kupp for a walk-in touchdown.
- With Sean Lee out (something that ultimately led to Dallas’ demise), I wondered pregame if we would see more of rookie safety Xavier Woods around the line of scrimmage. To turn this game, the Rams put Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli in a tough spot when it came to committing numbers to coverage and needing to stop the run, but early on it was Woods out there in Nickel and Dime sets attacking the football downhill. These Cowboys coaches have a lot of trust in Woods’ ability to put himself in the right spot and trust his eyes, something he did on the Rams’ second drive to force a punt with a hit on Kupp – who was carried across the field nicely this time by Scandrick.
- While Woods made the most of this opportunity, it was Jeff Heath once again struggling at some critical moments in coverage deep. In Heath and Woods, I believe the Cowboys have two safeties that need to be playing down, but the team simply doesn’t have this luxury when looking elsewhere at safety outside of Byron Jones. Even some of Jones’ best snaps in coverage today came inside the box. On Todd Gurley’s 53-yard touchdown reception, it was a miscommunication between Heath standing at the hash and Damien Wilson carrying Gurley up the seam that allowed the athletic Todd Gurley to free himself for an easy throw from Goff and go-ahead score.
- Lastly, the Cowboys went with a new starter at left guard in this game. Healthy enough to make the active roster, Chaz Green sat out in place of Jonathan Cooper. Inconsistency is something you have to live with when it comes to Cooper’s more finesse game, and on the Cowboys’ opening drive of the game he was able to get to the second level with some consistency. Sustaining blocks will always be an issue for Cooper, and this drive stalled in the red zone when Michael Brockers powered up the field against him and sacked Prescott on third down. As far as getting thrown into the fire goes, it doesn’t get much more difficult up front than Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald, and Cooper generally held his own. On Alfred Morris’ 70-yard gash, he likely had his best rep of the day by steering Donald out of the hole with impressive power and hand placement.
Just as the Cowboys will have a chance to break down the tape from this deflating loss, I’ll have more in-depth thoughts on what the Cowboys need to improve on in a hurry throughout the week right here at Inside The Star.
The Green Bay Packers are back in town on Sunday afternoon, meaning there will be plenty for Cowboys Nation to discuss in the next six days. Click here to catch up on previous edition’s of Sean’s Scout.