2019 NFL Divisonal Playoff
2019 NFL Divisonal Preview continues. Here’s an outlook on the Cowboys and Rams chances (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)

Boy am I excited for this one. The second 2019 NFL Divisional Playoff game is a match up between the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams. These two teams did not meet this year. Los Angeles comes into this game as a huge favorite. Vegas set the line at Los Angeles -7. The Rams are favorites for a reason coming in as the two seed winning the NFC West to go with a record of 13-3. Dallas comes in as the 4 seed with a record of 10-6 and champs of the NFC East.

I’m so excited for this one. Will Sean McVay get his first postseason victory? Is Jared Goff a real franchise quarterback? Can Dak Prescott win again? How is Jason Garrett still alive? This one is the game of the week. Here’s why each team can win their playoff game!

Dallas At Los Angeles (LA -7): Saturday, January 11, 2019 – 8:15 ET (FOX)


2019 NFL Divisional Playoff
Name a better linebacker duo in the NFL? You can’t and it’s a big reason why Dallas will win (Jim Cowsert/Star-Telegram)

1: Los Angeles Is A Cowboys Home Game

I hate LA sports fans. You know why? You’re all fake. LA fans would rather soak in the sun than watch this game anyway. All the real fans are stuck in St. Louis. Okay, but on a serious note the Cowboy fans will take up most of the stadium. It really is kinda laughable. Cowboy fans travel well as it is but in LA? They will take over the stadium. Forget the fact that this game is in California. The Cowboys had more fans show up to training camp in Oxnard than the Rams have fans in the entire state.

Here’s the great news for Dallas. Rain is coming. It’s supposed to rain all day Saturday in California. That’s the best news the Cowboys could hope for. Make the game ugly. Make the game a grind it out battle. That’s a Dallas game right there. Remember how pathetic Jared Goff looked in Chicago when he had to deal with the cold? Let’s see how that punk looks in the rain.

2: Feed Zeke And The Games Over

The Cowboys couldn’t have drawn a better foe. They really couldn’t have. Talk about playing right into Dallas’ hands. The Rams give up an average of 122 rushing yards per game. That ranks 22nd in the NFL. If the Rams give that up on average, how many do you think Zeke is going for? Elliott led the NFL in rushing and yards after contact this year. This Rams defense isn’t a team first defense. It’s a where are my stats defense. Ndamukong Suh is good for about nothing except for selling out to sack the quarterback and creating idiotic roughing the quarterback penalties. The Rams don’t have a single linebacker that’s worth more than my left toe.

We know that the Cowboys live and die with Ezekiel Elliott. Quietly, so do the Rams. The entire offense starts with Todd Gurley. Dallas ranks 5th in the NFL against the run. That success has largely been attributed to the play of the two young linebackers, Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. The Cowboys can play this one of two ways. Sell out to stop the run or dare the Rams to run and hope those two guys can stop Gurley by themselves. It’s the best linebacker duo in the league.

The latter option is what teams have actually done later on in the season. Goff has paid the price for it. Drop everyone in those underneath zone and flood the pass game. Dare the Rams to run the ball 40 times. When Gurley wasn’t healthy late in the year, that strategy worked very well. Now that Gurley is back and rested, I wonder how that plan works. For what it’s worth, Cooper Kupp injury has severely slowed the passing game too.

3: I Love The Dallas Defense In This Spot

I also think Kris Richard is a factor. It helps to prepare for an opponent that you’re used to seeing twice per year. Richard, of course, was part of that Seattle staff for years. Stop the run and sit on those Rams play actions. It’s not that hard Dallas. I’ll say the same thing I said a week ago. You’re not going to out Dallas, Dallas. The Cowboys have better players to play that run the ball and control the clock style. If the Rams turn this into a Todd Gurley vs. Zeke Elliott game, they will lose.

Both the Rams and Cowboys have good offensive lines. However, I like the Dallas pass rush in this spot. The Rams are going to throw the ball more in this one. DeMarcus Lawrence is coming to hunt. According to Pro Football Outsiders, the Cowboys had the 3rd most productive defensive line in the league. The linebackers get a lot of the credit but those big boys up front as nasty too. Byron Jones locks down Brandin Cooks and the Charmin ultra softies from LA go home.

High scoring Rams? How about Dallas holding the Saints to 176 yards of total offense!


2019 NFL Divisional Playoff
Sean McVay is getting his interns head coaching jobs. How can he not beat Jason Garrett? (Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

1: Sean McVay Isn’t Losing To Jason Garrett

C’mon, only a real dope would pick Dallas in this one. I’m not taking Jason Garrett to win a playoff game. I’m not stupid? Seriously. The clapper or the guy who has a photographic memory? The puppet or the guy who has figured out a way to make Jared Goff not stink all the time. The red-headed dunce or the coach that gets his butler, plumber, and massage therapist hired as head coaches around the league. You can smell a bad decision coming with Dallas. How about that idiotic field goal attempt before the half last week?

Even on the defensive side of the ball. I trust Wade Phillips in this spot. Phillips was fired by Dallas. He wants revenge and he can create a pass rush. I know that much. Kris Richard? Oh yeah, he’s the guy that crafted the Seahawks defense a year ago that got shredded by the Rams. Coaching wins and I’m taking the Rams staff every day of the week. Dallas has also been a completely different team on the road. Just a 3-5 mark on the road and coaching probably has something to do with that.

2: I Don’t Trust Dak Prescott

I should say that I don’t trust Jared Goff but I somehow trust him more than Dak Prescott? Actually, I changed my mind, I don’t trust either. I just know that the Rams will find a way to score somehow. They always do. Can Dak Prescott keep pace? No way, no how. Dallas has one way to win. Get the lead, control the clock, keep possession, and run the ball down your throat. That’s it.

This Rams team averaged 32.9 points per game. They ranked 2nd in the NFL in yards per game (421.1). You’re not playing that game with the Rams who go up and down in a hurry. You better keep pace, Dak. Go ahead and do it. The Rams can match the Cowboys firepower. Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley sort of cancel out. Both teams have deep threats in Amari Cooper and Brandin Cooks. There’s a lack of a tight end on both sides. Both offensive lines can pass protect. Who’s going to make more plays, Dak or Goff?

Dak Prescott is not good. He’s not even allowed to sniff Russell Wilson’s jock. No quarterback has been sacked more on sacks that are solely on the quarterback than Prescott (15). You know what else is concerning? Prescott has fumbled the ball 18 times this year! I repeat. 18 fumbles! When you have the edge at coach and quarterback… it’s tough to lose. Just ask Seattle. Oh, yeah, nevermind.

3: The Rams Secondary Can Slow Down Amari Cooper

Some teams always claim that they are just one player away. Well, Dallas was right and Amari Cooper has totally transformed their season. These numbers I’m about to post below are even before the playoff win over Seattle. Keep in mind, Cooper went for 7 catches and 106 yards.

There is no question that Amari Cooper has changed the fortune of the Dallas Cowboys season. I HATED the trade for the Cowboys. Giving up a first round pick was outrageous but Jerry Jones has proved me wrong. The numbers do not lie.

Prior to the Cooper trade, Dallas was 3-4, and Dak Prescott had a 62.1 completion percentage, 8-4 TD to INT ratio, 202.4 passing yards per game, and a 87.4 passer rating. Even Dak’s release time has changed. Since Week 9, Prescott’s time per throw went from 2.84 seconds to 2.53. The ball is coming out faster and it’s because the Cowboys weapons are more open.

Now check out the numbers since Cooper was acquired. Dallas went 7-2 with Cooper. Dak Prescott during this stretch is completing 71.3 percent of his throws, to go with a 14 TD to 4 INT ratio, 272.2 passing yards per game, and 103 passer rating. Cooper is the difference. It’s opened up opportunities for Michael Gallup. It allows Zeke Elliott to have more holes to run through. With Cooper doubled, less attention goes to Zeke. Even Dak Prescott can run a bit more. Everything has opened up.

So, you may wonder why I praised Cooper so much if I’m trying to come up with reasons why the Rams will win? The secondary is the biggest (or is supposed to be on paper) strength. Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib are as good as it gets on the outside. LA even has really nasty safeties with John Johnson and Lamarcus Joyner. Nickel Roby-Coleman is great in the slot.

Talib is really the difference maker. With Talib on the field, the Rams passer rating against is 64.3. When Talib was injured as was not on the field, the Rams passer rating against is 105.2. Marcus Peters can’t do it by himself. The Talib and Peters combo is what makes this secondary special. Slow down Cooper and Dallas loses. Can Michael Gallup and the other misfit toys beat the Rams? Nope.

Here’s the deal. I’m going to be honest with you, I feel so confident in this pick. I LOVE THE COWBOYS HERE. LOVE THEM. LOVE. I see your Aaron Donald and I raise you, Zack Martin. I see your home field and raise you the Cowboys fan base. I see your Todd Gurley and I raise you, Zeke Elliott. You will not out Dallas, Dallas. This game gets ugly with the weather and Dallas runs the ball, controls the clock, and plays defense. LOVE DALLAS. LOVE. Stop trying to tell me how good Jared Goof is. He stinks. +7? I don’t think I even need the points. Dallas money line.

Dallas Defeats Los Angeles 27-14