ARLINGTON, Texas (KXAN) — The Dallas Cowboys didn’t absolutely need to win Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, but the victory feels like a minor antidote for an ailing season.
Dallas (7-7) halted its three-game losing streak with a resounding 44-21 win over the Rams (8-6) at AT&T Stadium beating a team with a winning record for the first time this season.
The Cowboys and Eagles will play with the NFC East division on the line next week in Philadelphia. The Cowboys clinch the division with a win against Philadelphia. The Eagles would most likely need to win their final two games to win the NFC East and earn a playoff spot.
Neither team did much in the first quarter — the Cowboys saved their barrage for the second.
Dallas scored 21 points in the second. Tavon Austin got free on a coverage breakdown for the Rams. Dak Prescott hit the receiver with nothing but green turf ahead of him for a 59-yard touchdown pass and a 14-7 lead. Ezekiel Elliott scored on a 1-yard run with less than two minutes to go in the half for a 21-7 lead, but the Rams back-breaker was just moments away.
Los Angeles was looking for points at the end of the half hoping to get back in the game. Instead, a turnover by Rams quarterback Jared Goff essentially sealed the game for the Cowboys. Goff was looking over the middle when his pass was intercepted by linebacker Sean Lee. Lee returned the interception to the Rams 9-yard line.
Elliott scored his second touchdown of the game with 16 seconds left in the half giving the Cowboys a 28-7 lead at halftime. It looked like the glory days for Elliott with 117 yards rushing and 43 yards receiving.
The Cowboys never trailed against the Rams. Jason Witten put Dallas on top with a nifty one-handed grab in the red zone scoring from 19 yards out for the 7-0 lead. Los Angeles responded on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Goff to Todd Gurley.
Dallas turned to a Kai Forbath at placekicker this week after releasing Brett Maher. It didn’t start well with Forbath hitting the opening kickoff out of bounds, but the NFL veteran bounced back going 3-for-3 on field goals with five made extra points.
Rookie running back Tony Pollard scored the Cowboys final touchdown late in the fourth quarter on a 44-yard run. Pollard led Dallas in rushing yards with 131 yards.