Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams - 12/15/19 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 4:25 PM (AT&T Stadium)
Dallas -3.5; Total 47
Two teams in desperate need of a win will meet on Sunday at AT&T Stadium when the Los Angeles Rams (8-5) travel to Arlington, Texas to face the Dallas Cowboys (6-7). The Cowboys need to continue winning to try to hold off Philadelphia while the Rams need a win in an attempt to keep pace in the NFC wild-card hunt.
The Rams and Cowboys definitely enter the game differently, however. After a convincing 28-12 win Sunday night over Seattle, the Rams are full of confidence and have won two in a row and three of their last four. Dallas, on the other hand, has struggled as of late, losing three in a row and four of five to drop below .500. In that stretch of five games, the Cowboys have averaged allowing 25 points per game after giving up just 17.8 points in the eight games of the season.
That could cause a problem for Dallas playing against a Rams team that has scored a combined 62 points over the past two weeks from an offense that looks nothing like it did earlier in the season. In the 34-7 road win at Arizona two weeks ago, Jared Goff passed for 424 yards and two touchdowns, Robert Woods caught 13 passes for 172 yards, and Todd Gurley averaged 5.0 yards per carry on 19 rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown. The offense wasn’t quite as effective against Seattle, but Goff still passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns, Gurley rushed for 79 yards, and Tyler Higbee caught seven passes for 116 yards. Woods also caught seven passes for 98 yards and a score.
Goff has completed 63.0 percent of his passes this season for 3,712 yards and 15 touchdowns, but his 14 interceptions are far too many. Gurley will need to exceed his season average of 60.1 yards on the ground this season if he is going to be a 1,000-yard rusher for the third straight season as he currently leads the team on the ground with 721 yards with nine touchdowns. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods have been Darnold’s favorite targets with Kupp catching 77 passes for 990 yards and Woods grabbing 71 passes for 933 yards.
In addition to the Cowboys losing four of five games heading into this one on Sunday, Dallas is 3-7 over its last 10 games. Think about that -- after opening the season with wins over three of the worst teams in the NFL (the Giants, Washington, and Miami), Dallas has been one of the worst teams in football with a 3-7 record. That’s interesting to think about when considering that the Cowboys are still in the hunt for a playoff spot with remaining games against the Rams, Philadelphia, and Washington.
The Dallas defense allowed Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to pretty much do as he pleased last Thursday as he completed 74.2 percent of his passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns, and he ran the ball 10 times for 63 yards. Both of those yardages were better than MVP candidate Lamar Jackson put up last week. The Cowboys were solid on offense scoring 24 points against a good Chicago defense with Dak Prescott leading the way completing 27-of-49 passes for 334 yards and a touchdown. Michael Gallup was Prescott’s favorite target, catching six passes for 109 yards. Amari Cooper and Blake Jarwin also both caught six passes. On the ground, Ezekiel Elliott was effective, rushing the ball 19 times for 81 yards and two touchdowns.
Prescott leads the NFL in passing completion and passing yards with 325 and 4,122 respectively. He is also among the league leaders with 24 touchdown passes, trailing Jackson by four in that category. The Cowboys are the only team in the NFL that features a 4,000-yard passer, and a 1,000-yard rusher and receiver. Elliott ranks sixth in the league with 1,071 yards on the ground with nine touchdowns and Cooper has caught 70 balls for 1,054 yards and eight touchdowns. Gallup needs just 95 yards to make it two 1,000-yard receivers on the team as he enters Sunday’s game with 905 yards.
This one has a good chance of turning into a shootout. With Dallas being productive as it has been on offense all year long and the Rams’ offense coming alive as of late -- especially with the Cowboys’ defense being so bad recently -- big points could get put on the board. But don’t take a chance with the total. The easy winner is the Rams plus 3.5 points. It’s tough to even look at a scenario that would make Dallas the favorite aside from being the home team.
The Rams are coming into form, playing like the team that went to the Super Bowl last year. In contrast, the Cowboys have simply been one of the worst teams in football over the past two months. Dallas has proven that it can’t beat any of the better teams in the NFL, already losing to New Orleans, Green Bay, Minnesota, New England, and Buffalo this year. Why will this game be any different? In addition, the Rams are the best in the NFL with a 9-4 record against the spread, and they are 5-1 against the spread away from the Coliseum this year. Consider the money line, but take the Rams plus the points on Sunday.