Disclaimer: Look this is Playoff Football, anything can happen. This has been a fantastic and grueling NFL season. No one deserves to be sent home but it's going to happen. I'm not about picking against the spread because it's do-or-die and teams will do whatever it takes to accumulate points. I'm a playoff purist and I don't want to be checking the scoreboard and my betting slip so let's go for the MONEYLINE.
The Dallas Cowboys are riding high off their home win against Seattle last week. They played great on both sides of the ball. I did not expect them to come away with that victory so a tip of the cowboy cap to Dak, Zeke, Amari and that D for coming up large. This week is a horse of a different color as they roll into the #2 Seed LA Rams’ house at the Coliseum. Cowboys fans can travel and the Rams don't have the most dedicated fan base, so this crowd could be close to split down the middle. Let's examine the primary players at each position.
QB: Jared Goff vs. Dak Prescott
Jared is a friend of mine and the I AM RAPAPORT: STEREO PODCAST. I'm so happy that he's had a MVP-caliber season. Head Coach Sean McVay knows how to utilize his strengths and limit his liabilities. Losing Cooper Kupp midseason put a dent in the Rams’ claim to be the new Greatest Show on Turf but his accuracy, limited turnovers and underrated deep ball make the Rams a serious threat to come out of the NFC.
Dak is someone whom I've never met but I respect how when everyone was betting against him and that there were murmurs that Dallas would need a new QB next season, he stepped up huge. He's going to get a massive payday from super-yacht buying owner Jerry Jones. He's accurate and he's not afraid to put his head down and run. His weapons are limited, especially after losing Allen Hurns to a gruesome ankle injury. I'm not overly confident in Dak against this rested and rocking Rams D. Edge: RAMS.
Running Back: Todd Gurley (C.J. Anderson?) vs. Ezekiel Elliott
Two of my favorite running backs in the NFL will be squaring off in this one. Todd could be the MVP if he season wasn't cut short with a knee injury that limited him the last few weeks of the season. This is playoff football, everyone is banged up and he got an extra week of treatment and rest to get ready. The Rams need him to match Zeke. Either or both could easily go off for 150 all-purpose yards and 2 TDs. Really just depends on which team and scheme wants it more. C.J. Anderson can't be left out of this conversation too because he is a crafty veteran and former 1,000-yard rusher in Denver who could be called upon to spell Gurley and keep drives alive.
Zeke was the MVP of my Championship Fantasy Football Team so I watched him week-in and out. He's a beast and is very hard to bring down. The underrated element of both Zeke & Todd's game is their ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Zeke does it more and has to due to the lack of weapons for Dallas. Zeke needs to eat if they've got any chance of winning this game. Edge: COWBOYS