PFF Preview: Cowboys @ Rams, Week 3
The Cowboys and Rams square off in the Edward Jones Dome with both teams bouncing back with wins in Week 2 following blowout losses on opening day.
Look for the Cowboys to ride DeMarco Murray yet again this week. Murray has had tremendous success against the Rams, gashing them for a franchise-record 253 yards on the ground (ninth all-time) in 2011 and 175 yards last year. Add in the Rams’ second-lowest team run grade (-16.4) and you have what should be a recipe for lopsided ball control and play action passes for Tony Romo.
Execution is everything, though, and the Cowboys will be facing a talented and capable Rams defensive line looking to clean up their performance against the run. Through two games rookie Aaron Donald is the only player on the St. Louis defensive unit with a run grade in the green (+5.2), despite having five players reach that mark last season (including Robert Quinn’s tremendous +12.7). Losing Chris Long hurts, but his -5.1 run grade in 2013 isn’t the solution. The Rams have the ability and the players to turn their rush defense around, it might just be a matter of if or when it all clicks for them.
DeMarco Murray – Has had great success running to the left this season. He averages 6.75 yards a carry when hitting the left side compared to 3.47 to the right.
Tyrone Crawford – Leads the team in both quarterback hurries and hits with five and two, respectively.
Dez Bryant – Fits in among the Top 10 for wide receivers with 2.72 Yards per Route Run so far in 2014. Was 16th last season with a 2.05 mark.
St. Louis Rams
Austin Davis – His 80% Accuracy Percentage is currently the league’s fifth-best. He also had the highest PFF QB Rating in Week 2 (115.54).
Scott Wells – After leading all centers in Pass Blocking Efficiency in 2013 (99.0), Wells has the second-lowest score (95.5) among centers through the first two weeks of his 2014 campaign.
Alec Ogletree – Has logged an impressive five total pressures (a sack, a hit, and three hurries) on just 10 pass-rushing snaps for a Pass Rushing Productivity of 40.0.
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