Both teams in Sunday’s Rams-Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium in Dallas are desperately trying to secure their spots in the postseason. The Rams almost need to win their last three games, while the Cowboys are in a fight with Philadelphia in the NFC East.

Todd Gurley Rams-Cowboys
Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley will be a key player in Sunday’s Rams-Cowboys game. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Eagles are tied for lead in the NFC East with Dallas at 6-7, and are traveling to face the 3-10 Washington Redskins. The last time the Eagles and the Skins played, Philadelphia won, 32-27. They are favored in the rematch by six points.

The Cowboys are in a much tougher situation. They are facing a Rams’ team that is 8-5, and fighting Minnesota and Seattle for a wild-card spot. Los Angeles is on a two-game winning streak, including a 28-12 victory over the Seahawks last week.

Running Game Renewed in Rams-Cowboys Contest

The Rams have suddenly found their running game. Todd Gurley was pushed to the side early in the season in favor of a passing attack, which didn’t provide the spark the Rams were looking for. Since returning emphasis to the run, Gurley has had 19 or more carries in three of his last four games.

The Rams won each of those three games, so expect to see Gurley with the same amount of touches against the Cowboys.

Los Angeles coach Sean McVay told reporters on Wednesday that Gurley wasn’t on any type of running restriction earlier in the season.

“It has nothing to do with that,” McVay said. “It was really just, you’re just kind of working through the 2019 season — the best way to utilize all of our players and figuring out what our identity is.”

Gurley doesn’t want McVay to overthink the offense. He told reporters on Thursday that there is a simple reason for the team’s success.

“You don’t really have to explain too much,” Gurley said. “You see the results over the last couple of years, when you’re running the ball, stuff is going well, stuff is opening up, so it’s like, not too much really to explain.”

Dallas Struggles Lead to Circus Atmosphere

The situation is much more dire in Dallas. The team is entering Sunday’s matchup on a three-game losing streak. Dallas coach Jason Garrett looks like dead man walking, and the Cowboys could easily see themselves in second place in the NFC East after Sunday.

The Cowboys are a 1-point favorite at home on Sunday, but have struggled against non-division opponents. They are 2-7 against teams outside the NFC East, and their two victories were against Miami and Detroit. One of their losses was against the New York Jets.

This game could be the first chance for the Cowboys to defeat a team with a winning record outside the division. Bettors aren’t overly optimistic Dallas can do it. The line opened at 3.5 points, and was bet down to 1.5. As of this writing, the line is now at 1 point at several sportsbooks.

A surer wager seems to be on whether Garrett will be back after this season. Owner Jerry Jones has been dropping hints that seem to foreshadow the Cowboys moving in another direction. The latest quote from Jones was on a local radio show on Tuesday, when he was gushing about possible replacements, including Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and Baylor’s Matt Rhule.

“Well I am impressed with him, but boy, I’m impressed with Baylor’s Rhule too,” Jones said. “Two outstanding coaches at the stadium this weekend, and that’s just that. They’ve done a great job positioning their teams, they’re sound in the way they’re approaching their teams. So that was a great chance to see a couple of great coaches out there.”

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