NFC Divisional Round: Los Angeles Rams host Dallas Cowboys

NFC Divisional Round: Los Angeles Rams host Dallas Cowboys
UPI

Jan. 11 (UPI) — The Los Angeles Rams host the Dallas Cowboys in a divisional round showdown on Saturday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The Rams (13-3), fresh off a first-round bye as the NFC’s No. 2 seed, are searching for their first playoff victory in 14 years. Los Angeles made the postseason last year but fell to the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card round.

Prior to the 2017 playoffs, Los Angeles failed to grab a postseason spot since the 2004-05 season when the franchise was still in St. Louis. In that year, the Rams defeated the Seattle Seahawks in a wild-card game before losing to the Falcons in the divisional round.

Rams star running back Todd Gurley, who stacked up 1,251 yards and 17 touchdowns on 256 carries in the regular season, assured that there’s no additional pressure despite the team’s lack of postseason success.

“A lot of guys that have been in the league, 10-something years, have never made it to a playoff,” Gurley told the Rams’ official website. “We were able to finish out a lot of games. That’s what separated us this year between the past. I felt like that’s helped us as a team, and knowing when we get in those situations we’re not going to panic or blink.

“We don’t feel pressure, we apply it.”

Gurley, who missed the Rams’ final two regular-season games with a knee injury, was a full participant at practice this week and was removed from the injury report. Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay indicated the running back will play with no limitations.

The fourth-seeded Cowboys (11-6), led by star tailback Ezekiel Elliott, reached the divisional round after their 24-22 win over the Seattle Seahawks last week. Elliott ran 26 times for 137 yards and a score against Seattle.

Dallas, like the Rams, has had limited success in reaching the Super Bowl in recent history. The Cowboys have won three playoff contests in the last 22 years and haven’t won a road playoff game since 1993.

The matchup features two young quarterbacks in the Rams’ Jared Goff and Dallas gunslinger Dak Prescott.

Prescott completed 22-of-33 passes for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception in Dallas’ wild-card win against the Seahawks.

Goff earned Pro Bowl honors for the second time in his career this season with 4,688 yards (364-of-561 passing) and 32 touchdowns.

Dallas head coach Jason Garrett admitted the Rams’ high-octane offense presents a difficult challenge.

“They play well, week in and week out,” Garrett told reporters. “They haven’t won 13 games by accident and they’ve done a great job. Sean has done a fantastic job there. They have a lot of weapons and he knows how to use them well.”

Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley and tight end Blake Jarwin didn’t practice all week due to ankle injuries. Both players are listed as questionable.

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