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

Defense leads the way as Cowboys top Rams

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 between 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 a 75-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

Aug 26, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) on the field before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott says sore ankle is nonissue

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was limited in practice Thursday with an ankle injury but insisted he will be ready to play in the season opener Sunday at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Prescott said the issue was related to a change in footwear.

“I’m good to go,” Prescott said. “I still feel the best that I’ve felt in a very, very long time. … I promise you I’m great.”

Prescott threw for 4,449 yards and a franchise-record 37 touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 16 games for the Cowboys in 2021. The only game he missed came in Week 7 against the Minnesota Vikings because of a calf strain. The rebound season came a year after a gruesome compound fracture and dislocated right ankle in Week 5 against the New York Giants in 2020.

A matchup against the Buccaneers means going up against fellow quarterback Tom Brady, something Prescott is keen to do.

“It’s awesome,” Prescott said. “You definitely have to embrace it — a guy whose resume speaks for itself. Shows up at his age and is still better than most to do this — the greatest to do this, honestly. In the moment to play him, to understand what that team’s gonna bring with him as the leader and him on the other side, (I’m) just ready for that matchup.”

In six career seasons, all with the Cowboys, Prescott has thrown for 22,083 yards and 143 TDs against 50 interceptions. The former fourth-round draft pick in 2016 out of Mississippi State is a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

–Field Level Media

Aug 4, 2022; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (56) during training camp at River Ridge Playing Fields in Oxnard, California. Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Cowboys DE Dante Fowler Jr. fined $10K

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. was fined $10,609 by the NFL on Saturday as a result of an unnecessary roughness penalty he received in last week’s preseason game against the Denver Broncos, NFL Network reported.

Fowler was flagged near the goal line in the second quarter of the eventual 17-7 loss to the Broncos. Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy removed Fowler from the game.

Fowler, 28, is in his first season with the Cowboys. He had 36 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks over 14 games (six starts) with the Atlanta Falcons last season. Over six seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2016-18), Los Angeles Rams (2018-19) and Falcons (2020-21), he has 200 tackles and 35 sacks in 91 games (40 starts).

–Field Level Media

Sep 8, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55) reacts during the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys, LB Anthony Barr agree to one-year deal

The Dallas Cowboys and free agent linebacker Anthony Barr agreed to a one-year deal on Wednesday.

The four-time Pro Bowl selection played his first eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, who drafted him in the first round (ninth overall) in 2014.

Barr, 30, reunites with former Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards, now a senior defensive assistant for the Cowboys.

Barr registered 72 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a career-high three interceptions in 11 starts in 2021.

He ended his Vikings tenure with 495 tackles, 17.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and five picks in 98 games (all starts). He was selected to four straight Pro Bowls from 2015-18.

–Field Level Media