Jerry Jones has said that he wouldn’t mind too much if the Dallas Cowboys had a quarterback controversy. Since then, the team’s owner has dialed back on that. But BetAnySports patrons probably know what he really meant. He’d be completely happy if Cooper Rush played well enough that fans might be wondering if he might be a preferable alternative to Dak Prescott.
The truth is, Rush, a product of Central Michigan who is now in his second tour of duty with the Cowboys, has won three consecutive starts after taking over for Prescott, who broke his thumb and had surgery. And he will lead the ‘Pokes into action on Sunday when they take on the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 4:25 PM ET.
The strength of Rush is that even though he hasn’t had a lot of time on the field, he has been playing in the system for a number of years. And that wasn’t even broken when he went to the New York Giants, because he followed Jason Garrett there, and Kellen Moore, who was Dallas’ offensive coordinator under Garrett and is still there, has not changed the basic principles.
Last year, when Prescott was injured, Rush filled in for a start against the Minnesota Vikings, and he led a comeback win. The Cowboys have beaten Cincinnati, the Giants and Washington with him at the controls, and while his numbers aren’t overly imposing (60.8%, four TDs), he has not thrown an interception.
Jones has not been saying that the QB job is up for grabs now; rather, he has implied strongly that Prescott would get the job back when he is ready to play.
He’s just not ready to play right now.
Rams vs Cowboys Sports Betting Odds
In the football betting odds that have been posted on this game by our friends at BetAnySports, the Rams are the favorites:
Los Angeles Rams -4.5
Dallas Cowboys +4.5
Over 43 Points -110
Under 43 Points -110
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If you are neutral or otherwise not a huge Prescott supporter, you might suggest that when he’s behind center, the offense is much more about him, while with Rush, other aspects get more involved. Indeed, the team has run the ball 48.6% of the time over these last three games, and that wasn’t customary under Prescott.
The problem with the Cowboys is that despite the presence of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, the Dallas ground game doesn’t resemble anything that is dominant. According to sportbook software, as a team, they average four yards a carry, with Elliott at 3.8 ypc. So they must be able to do a little better if they want to become a genuine contender, with their NFC East rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, sitting as the only undefeated team in the NFL.
But defensively, this is a team that has allowed just 15.5 points per contest, not letting any opponent reach 20, and with the presence of Micah Parsons, they present a very big challenge for a Rams team that has a quarterback (Matthew Stafford) who has more big-play ability than his predecessor, Jared Goff, but can’t seem to maneuver his way out of trouble.
Stafford has been sacked 16 times; the running game does not carry its weight (3.3 ypc) and among wide receivers, Cooper Kupp has been the subject of 54 of the 85 targets. So balance is naturally a challenge. And that might be something for the Cowboys to feast on. When you toss in the fact that Stafford is susceptible to mistakes (six INT’s, including last week’s fatal pick-six in the 24-9 loss to the Niners)
That makes the points a rather enticing thing to take. So we’ll side with the visitor and the steady hand at quarterback.
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