Week 5 Preview: Los Angeles Rams vs Dallas Cowboys

The Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams host the surprising 3-1 Dallas Cowboys this Sunday in Week 5. The Rams are hoping to find their rhythm on offense after a disappointing 2-2 start, and the Cowboys will attempt to squeeze one last win out of backup quarterback Cooper Rush before starter Dak Prescott returns. The Rams are 5.5-point favorites to win at SoFi Stadium.
The Rams offense has struggled through four weeks of the NFL season, ranking 29th in points scored while piling up turnovers and negative plays at an alarming rate. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has tossed six interceptions and taken 16 sacks, and he's struggled to find a pass catcher he trusts beyond Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp. Kupp remains reliable, leading the league with his 42 receptions, but all the attention has cost him his efficiency: he's averaging a mere 7.4 yards per target after posting a 10.2 mark last year.

On defense, the Rams are middle of the pack despite the continued excellence of All-Pros Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. The team ranks 18th in points allowed and 16th in yards allowed, and the pass rush that once was their hallmark has all but evaporated: they've notched seven sacks this year and rank 31st in the league with a 2.5% hurry rate. Despite winning the title last year, there doesn't seem to be anything the Rams do especially well this season.
Few teams can survive the absence of their franchise quarterback, but the Cowboys are doing just that through four weeks of the NFL season. Following a Week 1 loss that saw starter Dak Prescott exit with a thumb injury, the Cowboys have won three straight under backup Cooper Rush. Don't let his undefeated streak fool you: Rush has been competent if unexceptional, avoiding mistakes and leading the Cowboys to 22.7 points per game. The Cowboys should be thrilled with their 3-1 record, but if they truly want to contend this year, they'll need more from their passing attack. The offense ranks 27th in points scored this season.

The offense may have its issues, but the defense has been everything the Cowboys could hope in 2022. The team ranks third in points allowed and sixth in yards allowed. Second-year linebacker Micah Parsons has continued his ascension to superstardom, notching 4.0 sacks and earning an 88.6 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, and Trevon Diggs remains a big play waiting to happen at defensive back, leading the league with his nine passes defended. If the Cowboys offense can pull its weight when Prescott returns, they'll be one of the more balanced teams in the league.

The Dallas Cowboys visit the Los Angles Rams in Week 5.

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