LA Rams need ILB Ernest Jones to play in Week 8

LA Rams ILB Ernest Jones leads the defense in tackles and calls the plays. The Rams need him to play in Week 7.

Ernest Jones, Los Angeles Rams
Ernest Jones, Los Angeles Rams / Harry How/GettyImages

Who is the true leader of the LA Rams (3-4) young defense? When it comes to tackles and a true leadership role, you need look no further than LA Rams young ILB Ernest Jones IV. The LA Rams have veteran All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald, but between double and triple teaming, he doesn't have the right vantage point to make the defensive calls and make the tackles for this Rams defense.

That role falls to Ernest Jones, and so far he is performing quite admirably

After seven games, Jones is up to 67 tackles, one quarterback sack, eight tackles for a loss, and one pass defensed. If he sustains his current pace, Ernest Jones IV is on track for 163 tackles, three quarterback sacks, 18 tackles for a loss, and three passses defensed.

Historically, those numbers have resulted in Pro Bowl honors for inside linebackers.

Can Ernest Jones serve as the Equalizer?

But a long 17 game season can take its toll on a player. That is particularly true of an inside linebacker, who is a key contributor whether the play results in a run or a pass. In seven games, Ernest Jones has played on 434 defensive snaps, which works out to 94 percent of the total defensives snaps this season. The reason that is not a higher percentage is the fact that the Rams defense aggressively sub in nickel and dime packages on obvious passing downs.

The Rams defense may be young, but they are feisty. After seven games, the Rams rank 13th in yards allowed, 14th in points allowed, but are only 30th ranked in takeaways.

The LA Rams travel to face the Dallas Cowboys (4-2) in Week 8. They boast the 16th-ranked offense in yards gained, and the fifth-ranked offense in terms of points scored. Much like the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Rams will face the Cowboys coming off their BYE week. That, combined with a road game and a 10:00 am PT start makes the non-football factors decidedly in the Cowboys' favor.

The Rams face a difficult path to the post-season if the team fails to defeat the Dallas Cowboys. Not only will the Rams drop to a record of 3-5, but a loss to an NFC Conference opponent complicates any tiebreakers the Rams may face. But even before those tiebreakers come into play, the Rams trail both the San Francisco 49ers (5-2) and Seattle Seahawks (4-2) in the NFC Western Division.

The LA Rams need to get back on track in Week 8. To do that, the Rams need ILB Ernest Jones to play.