TV Schedule: Sunday, Sept. 22, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: AT&T Stadium
Weather: Low 67, High 90
Line: Dallas (-3.5)
For the Dallas Cowboys and head coach Jason Garrett, the 2013 season is a make-or-break one. If this team doesn’t make the playoffs this season, major changes are likely to be made in Dallas. Following a week two loss against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Cowboys will need to step up their game if they want to take down an improved St. Louis Rams team at home. Tony Romo leads a middle-of-the-pack offensive attack with 561 passing yards to go along with three touchdowns through the first two weeks. His favorite target has been a resurgent Dez Bryant who has caught 13 passes for 163 yards and a score. Those are pretty surprising numbers since he struggled in week one. Running the ball has been an issue for this offense, averaging a measly 62 yards per game on the ground.
On the other side of the field, the Rams are a much-improved team from a 2012 squad that won seven games. The Rams have been better in every offensive category that matters this season than the Cowboys have, but both have the same 1-1 record. Sam Bradford has seemingly gotten better every season since joining the league. He has 651 passing yards with five touchdowns and looks to hit a wealth of receivers once again in week three. The targets surrounding Bradford are many, including Jared Cook, Tavon Austin, Chris Givens and Austin Pettis. Each of those guys has at least seven catches and all have over 85 yards through two weeks. The Rams’ run game is also pretty weak so far this season as Daryl Richardson is carrying the load with 30 carries for 98 yards.
Defensively, the Rams have not lived up to the expectations bestowed upon them. They were expected to be one of the best defenses in the NFC, but allowing nearly 400 yards and 28 points per game isn’t going to win you any awards. The Cowboys’ secondary has been relatively poor through two weeks, giving up an average of 313.5 yards through the air per game. Bradford could have a big day while Richardson might have a hard time on the ground once again.
PREDICTION: Rams 21, Cowboys 28