Cowboys defense muzzles Rams, Dallas wins fourth straight game

Greg Beacham, The Associated Press

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — On the Los Angeles Rams’ third offensive play, Dorance Armstrong of the Dallas Cowboys broke through the enemy offensive line and tackled Matthew Stafford. DeMarcus Lawrence picked up the loose ball from the quarterback and raced straight into the end zone.

« It was a surreal moment, » Lawrence said of his second touchdown in nine NFL seasons. « When the ball left his hands and hit my feet, I was like, ‘That can’t be true. When I turned around and saw no one around me, I said to myself, “That’s right! »»

The Cowboys’ impressive start to the season without Dak Prescott is also very real — even the defending Super Bowl champions couldn’t stop them.

Lawrence returned a 19-yard fumble for a major early in the game, Cooper Rush kept his perfect record and the Dallas Cowboys beat the Los Angeles Rams 22-10 on Sunday.

Tony Pollard had a spectacular 57-yard touchdown for the Cowboys, who are 4-1 to start the season for the second straight year. They’ve also won their four games without Prescott, who looks close to returning to action after thumb surgery.

Armstrong created the fumble which was returned by Lawrence and then blocked a punt, also in the first quarter. Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott were dominant, rushing for 86 and 78 yards, respectively.

Rush, who found takers on 10 of 16 passes for 102 yards, was buoyed by the Cowboys’ running game and defense.

« Oh, it changed the whole dynamic, » linebacker Micah Parsons admitted of Armstrong and Lawrence’s actions. “We start as we end. We started with a big bang, and we ended with a big bang.

Indeed, Parsons concluded the Rams’ last offensive sequence by creating a fumble. Overall, it was a tough day for the Rams.

Cooper Kupp caught a 75-yard touchdown pass for the Rams (2-3), who are down for the second time in six seasons under Sean McVay. The Rams were unable to score in the second half.

« We’re facing some adversity right now, » McVay said. You learn a lot about people when you pass by. We’re not good enough right now. I would never pretend otherwise.”

With the absence of three starters, the defending Super Bowl champions’ offensive line has struggled. She was unable to protect Stafford, victim of five quarterback sacks, as well as the ball carriers.

Stafford completed 28 of 42 passes and had 308 yards through the air.

Kupp’s catch and run led to the Rams’ lone touchdown in the last nine quarters. Along the way, they were defeated by the San Francisco 49ers and the Cowboys.

Malik Hooker had a decisive interception with three minutes and 29 seconds to confirm the victory for the Cowboys.


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