Cowboys (10-6) at Rams (13-3)
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum TV: Fox
Danny Sheridan’s line: Rams by 7
Cowboys’ keys to victory: There’s no question about what they like to do on offense: run the football. RB Ezekiel Elliott carried it 26 times for 137 yards and a touchdown in the wild-card win against the Seahawks, which aligns with how the Cowboys have operated on offense all season. If they can run it successfully, they’ll have a great chance to win, keeping the ball out of the hands of QB Jared Goff and RB Todd Gurley. Dallas will need to convert in the red zone, however, which it has struggled to do all season. The Cowboys have to use QB Dak Prescott’s legs in the red zone and not settle for field goals.
Rams’ keys to victory: When they had one or fewer turnovers in the regular season, they were 9-1. When they had two or more, they were 4-2. Protecting the football starts with Goff, who fumbled it eight times in the final six weeks and threw six interceptions in the last five games.Another key is shutting down the Cowboys’ running attack, which ranked 10th in rushing attempts this season.
Matchup to watch: Rams DT Aaron Donald vs. Cowboys LG Connor Williams. Donald will have a favorable matchup on the interior against rookie Williams. Williams will get help from C Joe Looney, too, but this has all the makings of a phenomenal performance by Donald.
Who wins? The Cowboys simply don’t have the offense to keep up with the Rams, despite boasting a dominant defense and two great linebackers. The Rams’ offense will do just enough to come away victorious.