What we learned in the Rams’ 35-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys

Rams linebacker Mark Barron intercepts a fourth quarter Dak Prescott pass with teammate Nickell Robey-Coleman nearby at AT&T Stadium on Oct. 2.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

What we learned in the Rams’ 35-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys:

Kicker Greg Zuerlein is consistent

Zuerlein kicked a team-record seven field goals and converted two extra points.

His 23 points were the second-highest single-game total in franchise history. (Several players have scored 24 points in a game, though they were position players who scored four touchdowns).

Zuerlein has made all 14 of his field-goal attempts this season.


The Rams’ offense no doubt needs to find the end zone, but Zuerlein in his own zone is a fallback option.

The defense still needs work

The Rams gave up 133 yards rushing in the first half, and there was little reason to think it would be different in the final 30 minutes.

But the unit stopped the Cowboys on the first four series of the second half, enabling the offense to generate some momentum and big plays.

The defense’s second-half performance made Wade Phillips return to AT&T Stadium a triumphant one.

Andrew Whitworth was worthy of the investment

The Rams signed the veteran left tackle to a three-year contract that guaranteed $15 million.

Whitworth continues to effectively protect quarterback Jared Goff’s blindside and leads an offensive line that helped Todd Gurley rush for more than 100 yards for the second consecutive game.

Whitworth, right tackle Rob Havenstein, guards Rodger Saffold and Jamon Brown and center John Sullivan have been a pretty consistent strength.

Running back Todd Gurley is a good receiver

Gurley showed signs of becoming a reliable pass-catching threat in previous games, but against the Cowboys he broke out with a team-best seven receptions for 94 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown.

Gurley has 20 catches for 234 yards and three touchdowns this season.

He is a big reason Goff has avoided forcing passes to other receivers and is turning into a multiple-threat nightmare for defensive coordinators.

The Times’ Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry break down the Rams’ 35-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. The Rams improved to 3-1 and are in first place in the NFC West. The Cowboys fell to 2-2. 

Tight end Tyler Higbee also is a threat

The second-year pro has been somewhat overshadowed by rookie Gerald Everett and veteran Derek Carrier, who was acquired in trade.

But Higbee caught three passes for 47 yards, including one for 29 yards during the Rams’ first series.

Coach Sean McVay appears determined to make sure defensive coordinators must account for all of the Rams’ tight ends.

Michael Brockers is more than a run-stopper

During his first five pro seasons, Brockers mainly plugged the middle as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 alignment.

Phillips is deploying him from various angles in the 3-4.

Brockers intercepted a deflected pass against the San Francisco 49ers. Against the Cowboys, he made three tackles, recorded a sack and deflected two passes.

Pharoh Cooper learned from his mistake

After losing a fumble against the 49ers, Cooper held on to the ball against the Cowboys and dashed to a 66-yard kickoff return that set up a field goal.

Cooper returned four kickoffs for 123 yards.