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Defense leads the way as Cowboys top Rams

Oct 9, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) breaks away from Los Angeles Rams cornerback Grant Haley (36) for a touchdown run in the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarcus Lawrence returned a fumble for a touchdown as the Dallas Cowboys’ defense led the way in a 22-10 road victory against the host Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

The Cowboys (4-1) won their fourth consecutive game with their defense doing the heavy lifting again.

Running backs Tony Pollard, who gained 86 yards on eight carries, and Ezekiel Elliott, who added 78 yards on 22 attempts, did their parts. That ground attack supported quarterback Cooper Rush, who was 10 of 16 for 102 yards in the air.

Dallas won despite managing only 239 yards of total offense and 10 first downs.

The Rams (2-3) — the reigning Super Bowl champs — have posted just one touchdown in each of their last two games, dropping both of them. They had 323 yards of offense against Dallas, with only 38 on the ground compared to Dallas’ 163 rushing yards.

Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford was 28 of 42 for 308 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also lost two fumbles, with those coming on the Rams’ first and final possessions of the game.

Brett Maher made field goals of 33, 40 and 36 yards for the Cowboys. His final attempt came with 5:32 left at the end of a drive that chewed nearly six minutes off the clock.

Dallas scored the game’s first nine points off Rams’ miscues. Lawrence had the fumble return after Stafford was sacked. The next Los Angeles possession ended in a blocked punt, with the Cowboys converting that into the first Maher field goal.

The Rams went ahead 10-9 in the second quarter by taking advantage of a rare defensive breakdown by Dallas. Receiver Cooper Kupp turned Stafford’s pass into an 83-yard touchdown play.

Less than two minutes later, the Cowboys were back ahead on Pollard’s 57-yard run.

Trailing 19-10, the Rams could have trimmed the deficit to a single possession, but kicker Matt Gay missed from 51 yards out.

Cowboys starting tight end Dalton Schultz exited the game with an apparent knee injury.

–Field Level Media

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