Rams to open 2020 NFL season in new home against Cowboys

Rams safety John Johnson almost intercepts a pass as Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott watches.
John Johnson, shown almost intercepting a pass as Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott watches during a previous matchup, and the Rams are scheduled to open the season at their new home against Dallas.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Rams missed the playoffs last season, parted ways with several key players and are playing catch-up in the NFC West.

But SoFi Stadium gives them a new star attraction.

That became evident Thursday when the NFL released its schedule. The COVID-19 pandemic makes everything tentative, but the Rams are scheduled to open the season at home Sept. 13 against the Dallas Cowboys on “Sunday Night Football.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was instrumental in helping the Rams return to Los Angeles from St. Louis, so he is expected to be on hand for the first regular-season game at the venue.

The opener is one of five prime-time games for the Rams. On Oct. 18, they play a road game against the San Francisco 49ers on “Sunday Night Football.” An Oct. 26 game against the Chicago Bears and a Nov. 23 game on the road against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be played on “Monday Night Football.” The Rams play the New England Patriots on Dec. 10 on “Thursday Night Football.”


Last season, the Rams played four games in the Eastern time zone and one in London. This season, they will play five times in the Eastern time zone. They caught a break of sorts, games at Philadelphia and Buffalo coming in consecutive weeks in September rather than during cold-weather months later in the season. The Rams are expected to stay on the East Coast between those two games.

While the 2020 NFL season faces some uncertainties because of the coronavirus, the league leaned on a familiar road map in constructing the season schedule.

May 7, 2020

The Rams will play three of four preseason opponents at SoFi Stadium — the New Orleans Saints, Chargers and Denver Broncos — before concluding the preseason at Las Vegas against the Raiders.

Here is a game-by-game look at the regular-season schedule:

Sept. 13: DALLAS, 5:20 p.m., (Ch. 4) — Former Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein, special teams coordinator John Fassel and running backs coach Skip Peete return to L.A.

Sept. 20: at Philadelphia, 10 a.m., (Ch. 11) — The Eagles caused a stir by drafting quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round but Carson Wentz remains the focus of the franchise.

Sept. 27: at Buffalo, 10 a.m., (Ch. 11) — Newly added receiver Stefon Diggs gives third-year quarterback Josh Allen another weapon in Bills’ push to take control of AFC East.

Oct. 4: NEW YORK GIANTS, 1:05 p.m., (Ch. 11) — New coach Joe Judge comes with a Patriots pedigree, and he inherits a team that will not have quarterback Eli Manning on the roster for the first time since 2004.

Oct. 11: at Washington, 10 a.m., (Ch. 11) — Dwayne Haskins is the presumptive starting quarterback, but new coach Ron Rivera brought in former Panthers backup Kyle Allen.


Oct. 18: at San Francisco, 5:20 p.m., (Ch. 4) — The 49ers are coming off a Super Bowl defeat, so the Rams wouldn’t mind if they suffered the same malaise that afflicted the Rams last season.

Oct. 26: CHICAGO, 5:15 p.m., (ESPN) — The Bears traded for quarterback Nick Foles in March and recently declined to exercise their fifth-year option on quarterback Mitch Trubisky, the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft.

Nov. 1: at Miami, 10 a.m., (Ch. 11) — Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, offensive tackle Austin Jackson and cornerback Noah Igbinoghene were first-round draft picks that coach Brian Flores must develop.

Nov. 8: OPEN WEEK.

Nov. 15: SEATTLE, 1:25 p.m., (Ch. 11) — Quarterback Russell Wilson is going into his ninth season and the NFL’s highest-paid player shows no signs of slowing down.

Nov. 23: at Tampa Bay, 5:15 p.m., (ESPN) — The Rams have not faced Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski since they combined to help the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Nov. 29: SAN FRANCISCO, 1:05 p.m., (Ch. 11) — The 49ers lost some key players from Super Bowl team but they added seven-time Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams.

Rams’ top draft pick, Cam Akers, says he has ‘big boy pants on’ and can handle all the roles of a running back in the NFL.

May 4, 2020

Dec. 6: at Arizona, 1:05 p.m., (Ch. 11) — The Cardinals traded for star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, bolstering a receiver corps that features future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.

Dec. 10: NEW ENGLAND, 5:20 p.m., (Ch. 11/NFL Network/Amazon) — Bill Belichick outcoached Sean McVay in the Super Bowl, but Brady no longer is the quarterback.

Dec. 19 or 20: NEW YORK JETS, TBD, (TBD) — Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, the third pick in the 2018 draft, returns to Los Angeles for the first time as a pro since starring for USC.

Dec. 27: at Seattle, 1:05 p.m., (Ch. 2) — Lirim Hajrullahu, Austin MacGinnis and Sam Sloman are competing to replace Zuerlein, who missed a potential game-winning field goal with 15 seconds left at CenturyLink Field last season.

Jan. 3: ARIZONA, 1:25 p.m., (Ch. 11) — Second-year coach Kliff Kingsbury is aiming to have his team contending for its first postseason berth since 2015.