Who will be the first LA Rams player to pick off Dak Prescott?

(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams Dak Prescott
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Cowboys concerns

The Dallas Cowboys will travel to the opener at SoFi Stadium with some serious concerns. For starters, the Cowboys will not have center Travis Frederick hiking the ball to quarterback Dak Prescott. That person will likely be Joe Looney, Frederick’s fill in for 2018. In that season, the Cowboys sputtered on offense en route to a 3-5 start before turning it around for a 10-6 final record.

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In that season, the Cowboys had the 22nd-ranked offense in yards and points scored. Now, practically the same offense will once more play with Looney at the center. Without the automatic center to quarterback hike, Prescott’s timing and rhythm will be off.  And without any opportunity to witness the Rams defense in action, this game should be Advantage: LA Rams.

Defending against Dak

The Dallas Cowboys no longer boast Tavon Austin, Randall Cobb, or Jason Witten on offense. Of course, as well as they ran the ball in last year’s contest, they won’t need them. But I suspect that the Cowboys will have a harder time running the ball this time around, which means they will be looking to move the back through the air.  If the projected depth chart is accurate, the Cowboys will likely be using a lot of 3 wide receiver sets: Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Cee Dee Lamb.

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The Rams shut down the Cowboys receivers last year. For their starting wide receivers, the Cowboys only managed three receptions for just 22 yards total.  The big hitters in that game came from the slot, where former Rams Tavon Austin caught one pass for 59 yards and a touchdown, and Jason Witten chalked up four receptions for 36 yards and another touchdown.