The Dallas Cowboys are two wins away from hosting the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 20.
But losing today at Los Angeles, and that second win — Philadelphia over New Orleans — won’t mean rice and red beans.
Dallas enters Saturday evening’s divisional round with the Rams, who feature one of the game’s best in Aaron Donald and a boy named Suh alongside him, not to mention Todd Gurley II, as seven-point underdogs, so the pressure is definitely on L.A. to live up to those expectations.
Like every game the Cowboys play, the final outcome rides the right shoulder of quarterback Dak Prescott, who has, indeed, most recently displayed signs of his productive glory days as a rookie.
Dallas got the matchup it wanted (admit it, Cowboy fans, you did the unthinkable and cheered for the Eagles), heading to the West Coast.
Not only are the Rams a team Dem ‘Boys can beat, they also basically will be playing in front of a home crowd, since Dallas has a huge following in the Los Angeles area because of holding training camps in nearby Thousand Oaks and now Oxnard.
Plus the Hollywood stars will be aplenty cheering on the big blue one on the Cowboys’ helmets.
However, Dallas has lost seven straight road playoff games since winning the 1992 NFC Championship Game at San Francisco and has lost each of its last five divisional playoff games, the latest being the 2016 heartbreaker to Green Bay in Prescott’s first postseason appearance.
Another fact going against the Cowboys is that the NFC home teams are 7-1 in the divisional round since 2014. Ironically, it was Dallas that suffered that lone defeat.
But the Cowboys are a much better defensive team, largely because of a vastly improved back seven defenders, and they also have a new set of offensive triplets — Prescott, Zeke and Cooper.
Like previous wins, though, Dallas had a late breakdown in coverage against Seattle in the wild card game, allowing the Seahawks to make the score a lot closer than it should have been.
Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard will have that taken care of, plus he coached many a game against L.A. when he was at Seattle.
Look for a Dallas upset. Cowboys 27, Rams 24.