It has been quite some time since the Dallas Cowboys relied more on the run than the pass during the Tony Romo era. For a third consecutive week the Cowboys could feature the legs of DeMarco Murray more than the arm of Romo when they visit the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Murray has run for 285 yards in the first two weeks - the most in the NFL - and with Romo slow to return to form from offseason back surgery, Murray could be in store for another busy afternoon against the Rams.
After being stomped 34-6 by the Vikings in the opener, the Rams received a strong effort from backup Austin Davis in a 19-17 win over the Buccaneers. Despite his demonstration of poise, decision-making and arm strength, Rams coach Jeff Fisher insists there is no quarterback controversy when Shaun Hill, a career backup who started against Minnesota, returns from a thigh injury. "If Shaun is healthy and able to play and not going to subject himself to re-injuring this or making it worse, then Shaun’s our quarterback and Austin’s our backup,."
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Cowboys -1. O/U: 45
ABOUT THE COWBOYS (1-1): It won't matter who the Rams quarterback is because the key for St. Louis will be to stop Murray, who burst on the scene during his 2011 rookie campaign with a franchise-record 253 yards against the Rams and added another 175 two years later in the rematch. Romo recovered from a three-interception disaster in the opener against the 49ers with a mistake-free effort and 10 completions to Dez Bryant in the 26-10 win over Tennessee last week. His arm strength and accuracy, however, still seemed subpar. The much-improved defense, spearheaded by middle linebacker Rolando McClain, yielded only 68 first-half yards against the Titans and is surrendering only 316.5 yards per game after being gouged for 415.3 a season ago.
ABOUT THE RAMS (1-1): Davis completed 22-of-29 for 235 yards without an interception in his first career start, converting two third-and-longs during the game-winning 71-yard drive that was capped by Greg Zuerlein's fourth field goal. No matter who is behind center Sunday, Zac Stacy will be the focal point of the offense, having rushed for 71 yards last week and 628 yards and five TDs in his past six home games. The Rams only got one sack against the Bucs but pressured Josh McCown all day. Defensive end Robert Quinn and emerging rookie tackle Aaron Donald should be able to get to Romo, who has already been sacked seven times - second most in the league.
1. Murray's league-leading 285 rushing yards is the highest ever by a Cowboy in the team's first two games and the highest in the NFC since Garrison Hearst piled up 325 yards in 1998.
2. Rams WR Brian Quick, becoming a Davis favorite, already has 14 catches this season, just four shy of his 2013 total.
3. With the NFL's new performance enhancing drug policy agreed upon Wednesday, Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick was reinstated two games earlier than expected and should take the starting position from 2012 first-rounder Mo Claiborne, who has been a major disappointment.
PREDICTION: Cowboys 27, Rams 19