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St. Louis Travels A Hard Road: Rams vs Cowboys Preview

Posted By Chaz Ingram On Oct 21 2011 @ 3:56 am In St. Louis Rams | 5 Comments

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Dallas' QB Tony Romo on record pace iin passing for 2011

The 0-6 St. Louis Rams travel to Dallas, TX this week for a game with the 2-3 Cowboys focused on one simple mission…get a win. The Rams enter this weekend’s game still looking for their first win of the season and by all accounts their identity as well. Just who are these guys?

With all the recent changes the Rams are having a difficult time trying create chemistry amongst a group of players who are ever changing.  The coaching staff is struggling trying to find a winning formula while trying to find replacements for injured players, recently released players and even players who are simply not playing well. That would make for some serious identity issues for any team.

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Newly signed Rams' receiver Brandon Lloyd in a recent game against Green Bay

In an effort to improve a receiving corps that has wallowed in mediocrity all season long the Rams made a trade for veteran receiver Brandon Lloyd.  In addition to Lloyd the Rams also removed WR Mark Clayton form the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list this week. To make room for Lloyd on the roster the Rams released Mike Sims Walker who has performed far below expectations since his arrival at Rams camp this past off season.  Walker, who claims he’s not sure why he was released might want to take a look at his stats with the Rams in his brief stint with the team. In his four games in St. Louis Walker caught only 11 passes for a measly  139 yards.

[3]With the additions of Lloyd and Clayton Rams’ QB Sam Bradford will hopefully have new toys to play with that will create more opportunities downfield and bring some much needed production to the Rams receiving corps. Lloyd will be reunited with Rams’ offensive coordinator Josh McDanielwho was head coach at Denver last year when Lloyd had his best year as a pro. He led the league in receiving yardage in 2010 with 1,448 with an 18.8 yards per catch average which was also ranked among league leaders.

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Rams' receiver Mark Clayton may play in Sunday's game versus the Cowboys

Though he has been activated from the PUP list it is not clear if Clayton will play against the Cowboys because he has yet to actually participate in a practice. Whenever Lloyd and Clayton are able to suit up together it should be an upgrade to the receiving corps. In 2010 Clayton definitely enhanced the passing game of Bradford. In only four games he caught 23 passes (10 came in the season opener) for 306 yards. He suffered a season ending knee injury in the teams’ fifth game against Detroit.

[5]Though much has been made of the Cowboys inconsistent play this year QB Tony Romo is actually enjoying the best offensive year of his career. Dallas is currently ranked fourth in the league in passing offense averaging 409.6 yards per game, 324 per game passing. The knock against Romo this year is due in part to his low number of TD’s  (8) and high numbers of turnovers (6).  With such threats as second year receiver Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Miles Austin Romo has passed for 1590 yards in five games despite the numbers above.  

Bradford is still nursing a high ankle sprain and is questionable for this Sunday’s game at Cowboy Stadium. If he is able to play and is mobile enough to make accurate passes downfield Bradford, with his new toys Lloyd and possibly Clayton could cause trouble for the Dallas defense which currently ranks fifth overall but fourteenth against the pass.

Considering the inconsistency of each team this game is difficult to call. The outcome will depend totally on the health of each team’s quarterback and his ability to maneuver on the field. Will the Rams notch their first win of the season? Or will the Cowboys even their record and move to 3-3? You make the call.

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