Hard Truths: Rams, Cowboys Saturday Night Postscript

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 12: Blake Countess
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 12: Blake Countess /

The Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys opened the LA preseason, and not a moment to soon.

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay stood on the sidelines for the first time as the main guy wearing the headset. By every definition of the final score, it was a success. Preseason or otherwise, a 13-10 win is a great way to begin a coaching career.

Next: 5 takeaways from Rams win over Cowboys

With three exhibition games left before they really count, McVay may not have slept so well despite the final score.

The Rams weren’t able to hold onto the football. Listening and watching the telecast on NFL Network, it became almost comical, and underscored the lack of genuine contact courtesy of the last CBA, that lends to putting the ball on the ground. Suffice to say that if the same continues in Week 3 or 4 of the preseason, this team will have a problem it won’t need at a position it has done a lot of work to improve in.

Did Jared Goff get enough work last night? Not likely. At halftime last night, that comment was echoed by the studio.

This isn’t about how good or bad Goff is. But it is a reasonable question given where he’s been as the starting quarterback of the Rams. If you were only a little bit late getting into the Coliseum, you missed him. If you were a bit late getting home to catch the game, you missed him.

If you just wanted to see how much he’s progressed, you probably missed enough to form a reasonable opinion.

But that’s preseason football. And all I can figure is that no matter how well or poorly he looked, the plan was to get him to toss a few passes, hope he connected on some, and avoid any turnovers. If a touchdown resulted, then all the better.

But as the studio noted last night, the second year quarterback needs reps. Last night hardly seemed like that.

If it was your first taste of Rams football, you might come away thinking that all their questions were about Sean Mannion, who played more last night than I could have imagined.

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But if Los Angeles and McVay wanted to keep his (Goff) work small and make sure that a success was all anyone could take away, then mission accomplished. McVay has a plan, and clearly it was to give the first-team only a taste against the Cowboys.

Lastly, as I mentioned Sean Mannion got a TON of work last night. He didn’t get a lot of help from the football being coughed up, but if anyone worried about the strength of the depth chart at that position, you can rest easy now.

Those wondering what the third year quarterback from Oregon State could do in some extended time got a pretty lengthy glimpse. As Marshall Faulk mentioned last night, the Rams should get a look at him with the first team.

How likely is that this preseason? Probably not much, as Goff is the starter come hell or high water. But it would be something to see. I just don’t believe competition is what the Rams want at the quarterback position.

That is a decision that could come back to haunt them.