Los Angeles (AFP) – Sean Mannion led a late comeback and Jared Goff made his pro debut as the pair helped make the Rams’ return to Los Angeles a successful one in front of a record crowd Saturday.
Mannion tossed three touchdown passes, including two in the fourth quarter, as Los Angeles defeated the Dallas Cowboys 28-24 in the exhibition opener in front of a crowd of 89,140.
It was the largest crowd in history for an NFL pre-season game and the Rams’ first home game at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 36 years.
But the Cowboys stunned the Coliseum fans right off the bat when Lucky Whitehead returned the opening kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Dallas lead after just 13 seconds.
Later in the quarter, quarterback Dak Prescott hit wide receiver Dez Bryant for a 10-yard touchdown, extending the lead to 14-0.
The Rams, with quarterback Case Keenum getting the start, led the team on a drive that culminated with a 14-yard touchdown run by Benny Cunningham with 1:33 left in the first quarter.
Prescott fired back, connecting with Terrance Williams on a 32-yard touchdown 1:32 into the second quarter. The Cowboys closed the first-half scoring when Dan Bailey nailed a 44-yard field goal for a 24-7 halftime lead.
First overall draft pick Goff made his pro debut with 9:45 remaining in the second quarter. Mannion replaced Goff to start the third quarter. Goff completed four-of-nine passes for 38 yards.
Mannion, a third-round pick last year, completed 18-of-25 passes for 147 yards and three touchdowns.