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Other Week 15 Game Recaps

Week 15 Game Recap: Los Angeles Rams 21, Dallas Cowboys 44

What you need to know

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams barely showed up in the blowout loss in Dallas. The final stat lines look far better with multiple garbage time drives in the fourth quarter with the game already decided. Jared Goff had another clunky game during a forgettable 2019 season, featuring more interceptions than touchdowns since the Rams’ Week 9 bye. Todd Gurley found the end zone twice and Tyler Higbee was peppered with garbage time targets to salvage strong stat lines. Robert Woods was the notable Rams weapon left out of the production aggregation late in the game, finishing with a mere 17 yards.

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas thrashed the Rams with a decisive home win as they push for an NFC East title. The run game and defense were the story as Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard both eclipsed 100 yards on the ground and Elliott found his form with 160 total yards and two touchdowns, by far his best game since before Dallas’ midseason bye week. Amari Cooper was stifled by Jalen Ramsey and not much was needed from Dallas’ passing game with a mere 23 passes and fueled by a long Tavon Austin touchdown and one-handed score by Jason Witten.

Los Angeles Rams

QB Jared Goff, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 33 - 51 - 284 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 2 - 0
Goff’s forgettable second half of the season continued in Dallas with a blowout loss and lackluster game. This was despite his full complement of wide receivers healthy and open windows for completions. Goff was inaccurate until the fourth quarter garbage time drives, however, missing Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and later Brandin Cooks again on fourth down of note with wild throws. When Goff was not misfiring receivers, sacks ended multiple drives and Goff should have had a second interception over the middle. Goff’s lone impressive throw when the game was quasi-competitive was a stick throw on a goal-line out route to Todd Gurley into a small window for the score. Goff piled up production late in the game on multiple touchdown drives as he surged past 50 passes for the game, peppering Tyler Higbee and Cooper Kupp with a handful of receptions each.

RB Todd Gurley, 70 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 20 - 1, Rec: 3 - 18 - 1 (7 targets)
While there was a minimal run game presence against the Cowboys in the blowout loss, Gurley did find the end zone twice and was the clear workhorse with no other running back seeing an offensive touch. Gurley saw a hearty seven targets, including an impressive small window goal-line touchdown. Gurley had nearly 10 yards on his best run of the game, the lone opportunity with much of a hole to the second level amidst his 20-yard game tally. Gurley added a garbage time touchdown on the ground plus a two-point conversion as the Rams moved the ball consistently for the first time since early in the game. The 49ers offer a tough matchup for the Rams offense to rebound next week.

WR Cooper Kupp, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 41 - 1 (6 targets)
Kupp found the end zone for a third straight game in the blowout loss against the Cowboys. However, Kupp largely produced in clear garbage time with all but one of his receptions, including his goal line touchdown. Kupp was invisible until the late third quarter before finding the box score with a catch. Kupp also lost a fumble in the game, but it was wiped out by penalty. Kupp was behind Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Tyler Higbee, and Todd Gurley in targets on the team.

WR Robert Woods, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 17 - 0 (9 targets)
Woods saw at least nine targets for the fifth straight games, however, was firmly held in check against the Cowboys. Woods converted a smoke screen on third down has his notable contribution, but had a reception called back and a drop across his lackluster game. While 1,000 yards for the season is well within reach with two games to play, the 49ers are stingy matchup in Week 16 and the Rams have more questions than answers on offense with their clunky showings of late.

WR Brandin Cooks, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 46 - 0 (8 targets)
Cooks saw eight targets, his highest total since Week 4 against the Cowboys. Cooks was active early with two targets on the opening drive alone, corralling a deep comeback reception of note. However, Cooks needed late garbage time for two of his meager four receptions on a day where the Rams threw the ball more than 50 times in the blowout loss. Cooks added a drop to his tally and took a big hit in the closing moments of the game on an end zone target, but fortunately was not concussion related, his most recent injury causing missed games.

TE Tyler Higbee, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 12 - 111 - 0 (14 targets)
Higbee collected garbage time production against the Cowboys in the blowout loss with half of his receptions coming late in the already-decided contest. Higbee had two chunk gains earlier in the game, one coming on a well-blocked screen and the other a wide open target fueling more than 20 yards after the catch. Higbee has thrived since Gerald Everett has been out of the lineup with injury and has a career-high stretch of 26-334-1 over the past three games on a strong 33 targets.

Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott, 68 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 23 - 212 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 7 - 12 - 0
Prescott was a secondary part of Dallas’ impressive home win over the Rams with the run game and defense being the story. Prescott was impactful as a runner despite a muted stat line with a stiff arm for nearly 10 yards on a scramble and two short-yardage conversions, one a fourth down play in the red zone. Prescott eluded a rusher and found a wide-open Tavon Austin downfield for a long touchdown and a chunk of Prescott’s otherwise muted day. Prescott had two near-interceptions, one of negated by penalty and the other was Michael Gallup stopped on a route over the middle.

RB Ezekiel Elliott, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 24 - 117 - 2, Rec: 3 - 43 - 0 (4 targets)
Elliott’s big Week 14 production continued to Week 15 in the blowout win over the Rams. Elliott found the end zone two more times, both on goal-line runs amidst a huge first half. Elliott had a handful of chunk runs as Dallas’ offensive line dominated in the trenches and Elliott consistently broke tackles at the second level. Elliott was not stopped as a receiver either, with two chunk receptions including more than 20 yards on a too-easy catch in the flat. Elliott’s day could have been a career-level performance but with Dallas’ big lead Tony Pollard was the primary back as the second half progressed to his own strong stat line.

RB Tony Pollard, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 131 - 1, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (2 targets)
For the first time since Week 3, Pollard saw extended playing time as the rookie mopped up production in Dallas’ blowout home win over the Rams. Pollard was the primary back as the second half progressed with 14 total touches, including breaking a tackle on multiple touches, including a long touchdown to ice the game with speed to the end zone. Pollard remains one of the highest upside backup running backs in the NFL if Ezekiel Elliott were to miss time with garbage time, like this week, offer a golden opportunity to flash with consistent touches.

WR Amari Cooper, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 19 - 0 (2 targets)
Cooper was sparsely involved in the Cowboys run and defense-centric blowout win over the Rams. Cooper saw a mere two targets, but one was converted with an impressive high-point catch on third-and-long with the game still in doubt. Cooper also dropped a deep in-cut target on an otherwise lost day where Dallas threw the ball only 23 times.

WR Randall Cobb, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - -3 - 0 (2 targets)
Cobb was yet another disappointing Dallas receiver in the otherwise impressive win over the Rams. Cobb saw just two targets, stuffed for a loss on one and dropping a screen pass in the red zone on the other. Cobb’s receiving yardage has declined in four successive weeks entering the Cowboys pivotal Week 16 matchup against the Eagles.

WR Michael Gallup, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (3 targets)
In his worst game of the season, Gallup saw three targets and only a short smoke screen reception in the second half kept the second-year receiver from being shut out of the box score. Gallup also stopped on a route which should have resulted in an interception with a better defensive play.

TE Jason Witten, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 36 - 1 (5 targets)
Witten led Dallas’ low volume passing game with five targets in the impressive home win over the Rams. Witten had a drop, but corralled his other four targets, including a highlight reel one-handed grab on a throw behind him on a deep out. Witten found the end zone after the catch to cap the moment. Witten moved to second all-time for franchise receiving touchdowns with the score and one back from Dez Bryant for the top spot with two games to go this season.

TE Blake Jarwin, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 40 - 0 (3 targets)
Jarwin was impactful yet again even with only three targets against the Rams. Jarwin converted a third—down target with yards after the catch down the sideline and later on the same drive came wide open on a play-action design for more than 15 yards. Jarwin has consistently offered a big-play presence to blend with Jason Witten’s chain-moving short-range acumen for Dallas at tight end this season.