INGLEWOOD, Calif. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Malcolm Brown rushed for a career-high 79 yards and two touchdowns, Jared Goff passed for 275 yards and the Los Angeles Rams opened SoFi Stadium with a 20-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.
Robert Woods had six catches for 105 yards to help the Rams improve to 4-0 in season openers under coach Sean McVay and spoiled the debut of Mike McCarthy, Dallas’ first new head coach in a decade.
Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown and caught another scoring pass, but the Cowboys began a season of high expectations by losing three starters to injury in the first half and then failing to mount a late comeback in a scoreless fourth quarter for both teams.
Dak Prescott passed for 266 yards and a touchdown, but Dallas managed three points on its six drives in the second half. Michael Gallup made a long catch that would have put Dallas in field goal range with 21 seconds left, but was called for offensive pass interference for contact with Jalen Ramsey.
The opening of Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s $5 billion stadium project was a historic night for the Los Angeles area, albeit one that should have been much more festive. The coronavirus pandemic prevented Rams fans from christening the palatial stadium, which is scheduled to host next season’s Super Bowl, the 2023 college football championship game and the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
The Rams got the ball first in their new home, and Goff hit Woods with a short pass that turned into a 20-yard gain on the building’s first play from scrimmage. The 75-yard opening drive ended with Brown’s 1-yard plunge for the stadium’s first touchdown.
Elliott tied it early in the second quarter with a 19-yard TD catch during which he ran through most of the Los Angeles defense.
Three Rams drives stalled for field goal attempts, and Elliott put the Cowboys ahead at halftime with a 1-yard TD run.
Brown also scored on the Rams’ opening drive of the second half. They never scored again, but it was enough.
McCarthy curiously went for it on fourth and 3 from the Los Angeles 11 with about 12 minutes to play, but Rams safety Jordan Fuller made a superb tackle on fellow rookie CeeDee Lamb before the marker.
Throughout the game, the Cowboys lost linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, offensive tackle Cameron Erving and tight end Blake Jarwin to injuries. All three were ruled out for the rest of the game.
The Cowboys now head back home for a noon kickoff against the Atlanta Falcons next Sunday.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)