ARLINGTON (105.3 THE FAN/AP) — Todd Gurley scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 53-yard catch-and-run, Greg Zuerlein kicked a career-high seven field goals and the Los Angeles Rams beat the Dallas Cowboys 35-30 on Sunday.
Gurley finished with 215 total yards — 121 rushing and 94 receiving — as the Rams overcame two first-half touchdowns from Ezekiel Elliott the day before a federal appeals court hearing related to the star Dallas running back’s blocked six-game suspension over a domestic incident in Ohio.
The Rams (3-1) rallied from 11 points down late in the first half and matched their start from a year ago, when they went 1-11 the rest of the way as No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff was sitting and later lost the first seven starts of his career.
Goff showed more poise in first-year coach Sean McVay’s offense, throwing for 255 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. He has seven TD passes and one interception this season.
The Cowboys (2-2) are already a loss shy of their total from last season when Dak Prescott was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and Elliott led the league in rushing, also as a rookie.
Terrance Williams dropped a potential tying 2-point conversion pass on the third try midway through the fourth quarter after Prescott’s 28-yard scoring toss to James Hanna.
Center Travis Frederick was called for holding when Prescott ran in the first attempt. Dallas got another shot after a defensive holding call.
“The first one was real easy, a walk-in touchdown” said Prescott. “Then we got the holding penalty and backed it up, made it longer. The pass-play in the end zone, I just thought I’d throw it up and give our guys a chance. They intercepted and then we got the holding call. On the third one, I scrambled around again and got hit from behind as I was trying to throw.”
Gurley had a 12-yard catch on third-and-5 to help the Rams get to the two-minute warning before Zuerlein’s seventh field goal, a 33-yarder with 1:55 remaining. Gurley had 30 touches — 23 carries and a team-high seven catches.
The Cowboys reached midfield in the final minute, but Elliott’s catch inside the Rams 40 on fourth-and-10 was about a yard short of the first down, clinching LA’s win.
Zuerlein’s previous career high was five field goals in a 22-7 win over Denver in November 2014. He had a 44-yarder on the final play of the first half, and the long was from 49.
The Cowboys held the Rams to 131 yards in the first half, but the absence of All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee because of a hamstring injury showed up after halftime. After punting on their first possession of the second half, the Rams scored five straight times.
Elliott had 85 yards on 21 carries and backup Alfred Morris finished with 76 — 70 coming on his career-long run to set up Elliott’s second TD. The 1-yard plunge came after a review overturned a touchdown. Both times, Elliott took the ball to his mom in a field-level suite behind the end zone.
“I could count on 1 hand how many games my mom has missed” said Ezekiel Elliott. “(She’s) been to hundreds. It’s really special to always have her there.”
“It was a tough loss. But it’s still early in the season” said Elliott. “We know the potential of this team.”
Prescott, who saw his best performance in the first half of the game, ended at 20 of 36 for 252 yards and three touchdowns.
“We’re confident. We’re not going to lose confidence” said Prescott. “This team is not going to do that.”
“I want to give Wade Phillips his due” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. “They (Rams) came in and made adjustments. They’ve drafted high and well. Against a lesser crew, we could have come back and shut the door. This is a big win for the Rams. This is a hurtful loss of us.”
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