Cowboys have more stars than on helmets, their stifling defense overwhelming Rams

The Rams' Matthew Stafford fumbles the ball on a hit by Dallas' Dorance Armstrong before DeMarcus Lawrence (90) recovers it
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford fumbles the ball on a hit by Dallas’ Dorance Armstrong before DeMarcus Lawrence (90) picks up the ball and runs for a touchdown.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
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DeMarcus Lawrence, Pro Bowl defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys, basked in the celebrity culture at SoFi Stadium for Sunday’s game against the Rams.

But not in the way you might think.

“It was lit,” Lawrence said. “Seeing all the stars coming out today to see the real stars on display.”

Yes, these Cowboys are not lacking for confidence, nor should they be after a dominating win over the Rams that was more lopsided than the 22-10 score suggests.

Dallas sacked Matthew Stafford five times, twice stripped him of the ball, intercepted one of his passes at the Cowboys’ one-yard line and generally made a bad day for the Rams quarterback a miserable one.


The Rams can’t seem to get much done on offense again as they suffer their second decisive loss in a row, this one at home 22-10 to the Dallas Cowboys.

Oct. 9, 2022

“We’re the best … defense in the league,” Lawrence said. “Point blank, period.”

By game’s end, there were two types of jerseys in the place: Cowboys white and Cowboys blue. Yes, there were lots of dispirited Rams fans sprinkled in, but fans of the visitors were boisterous enough to shake the press box when they erupted at Malik Hooker’s interception near the goal line.

All that and the 4-1 Cowboys didn’t even have their best player, linebacker Micah Parsons, at full speed. He suffered a groin injury in the first half and was used sparingly in the second, mostly as a pass rusher on third down.

“There were certain things that I didn’t want to push,” he said. “I stopped moving around as much.”

Regardless, Parsons collected two sacks, especially meaningful to him with Aaron Donald, a three-time NFL defensive player of the year, watching from the Rams’ sideline.

Cowboys defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa celebrates his sack of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford in the fourth quarter.
Cowboys defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa celebrates his sack of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford in the fourth quarter.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

“If you want to be the best rusher, there’s only one best rusher in the league,” Parsons said. “So to me, it’s a competition between him and me no matter what, even with the respect. I want to potentially be the best player in this league. With Aaron taking the cake right now, I’m just pushing. I’m climbing.”


It was the fourth win in a row for the Cowboys, who have yet to surrender more than 19 points in a game. And they’ve done this with previously little-known Cooper Rush at quarterback in place of the injured Dak Prescott, recovering from a fractured thumb.

“Right before the game, Dak Prescott said to me, `Coach, you shouldn’t have worried so much, because I could have told you Rush is a hell of a quarterback,’ ” said Jerry Jones, who owns the Cowboys but happily answers to “Coach” — and who wouldn’t considering the way they’re playing?

Rush is 5-0 as a starter, four of those this season, making him the fifth undrafted quarterback to win each of his first five career starts, joining Hall of Famer Kurt Warner along with the more obscure Kyle Allen, Dieter Brock and Mike Tomczak.

Talk of a budding quarterback controversy in Dallas is mostly unserious speculation, but as Jones noted, “Dak is the No. 1 quarterback. Dak is our guy. But isn’t it great that somebody came in and played well enough so that we can ask that question?”

The Rams, now 2-3 after a home loss to Dallas, have never looked worse under coach Sean McVay, who admits everything is “not good enough.”

Oct. 9, 2022

When it came to the NFL returning to Los Angeles, no team owners — other than the ones who actually relocated here — played a bigger role in the process than Jones. He was born in this city and spent his early years in El Segundo, a short distance from a Los Angeles International Airport runway. His team spends part of training camp in Oxnard, and he has a deep affection for Southern California.

For him, that made this win extra special.

“There’s some jewelries involved someplace here,” he said. “We’re going to wear little jewelries after this. We did come in here and win a game and everybody’s excited about it.”


Asked to elaborate, he said: “I’ve had people walk up to me and say, `Jerry, I want me some jewelries.’ What they mean is diamonds and things like that. There was more than a win to come in here and get to beat the Rams … To come in here with our situation, and know that we can be better, plus getting better, there’s some glitz and glamour.”

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was born in Inglewood and played an integral part in pushing the NFL to return to Los Angeles.

Sept. 19, 2021

The lights don’t get much brighter than next Sunday night when the Philadelphia Eagles, the NFL’s only remaining undefeated team, play host to the NFC East-rival Cowboys.

Prescott said he’s now able to grip the football but wouldn’t commit to whether he would throw the football this week.

“It’s day to day,” he said. “At this point it’s all about just gaining strength and comfortability. That’s happening more and more each day.”

As for the rest of the Cowboys, they might say the same.