Dallas Cowboys thoroughly demolished the Los Angeles Rams 43-20

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Editor’s note: Follow all the “Sunday Night Football” action between the Chargers and Bears with USA TODAY Sports’ live coverage.

The Dallas Cowboys thoroughly demolished the Los Angeles Rams 43-20 at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, extending their home winning streak to 11 games.

Quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns as Dallas built a 30-point lead in the first half before cruising to its fifth victory in seven games. CeeDee Lamb led the Cowboys receiving corps with 12 catches for 158 yards and two scores.

The Rams couldn’t do much right all day – and to make matters worse, quarterback Matthew Stafford had to leave the game late in the third quarter after aggravating a thumb injury.

With the loss, the Rams fall to 3-5 on the season.

NFL STATS CENTRAL: The latest NFL scores, schedules, odds, stats and more.

USA TODAY Sports chronicled all the highlights, wild plays, analysis and more throughout the afternoon. Follow along.

What NFL games are showing today?

Here are the kickoff times and TV info for all of Sunday’s NFL action.

  • Carolina Panthers 15, Houston Texans 13
  • Dallas Cowboys 43, Los Angeles Rams 20
  • Minnesota Vikings 24, Green Bay Packers 10
  • New Orleans Saints 38, Indianapolis Colts 27
  • Miami Dolphins 31, New England Patriots 17
  • New York Jets 13, New York Giants 10 (OT)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 20, Pittsburgh Steelers 10
  • Tennessee Titans 28, Atlanta Falcons 23
  • Philadelphia Eagles 38, Washington Commanders 31
  • Cleveland Browns at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
  • Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
  • Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
  • Cincinnati Bengals at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
  • Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Chargers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Final: Cowboys 43, Rams 20

The Rams scored on a 47-yard field goal from Lucas Havrisik for the final points of the game with 5:31 remaining in the fourth quarter. The score came after an eight-play, 30-yard drive where backup quarterback Brett Rypien leaned on veteran wide receiver Cooper Kupp to help get down the field.

But the score was only a drop in the bucket after Dallas built a sturdy lead in the first half and their defense put a bow on the 43-20 win. — Victoria Hernandez

Brandin Cooks touchdown: Cowboys 43, Rams 17

Dak Prescott has thrown his fourth touchdown of the day, a 25-yard pass to Brandin Cooks early in the fourth quarter, to push the Cowboys to a a 43-17 lead on the Rams.

It’s Cooks’ second touchdown in as many games for the Cowboys.

And the Cowboys are well on their way to a 5-2 start this season. — Safid Deen

Rams’ Matthew Stafford out of game

Matthew Stafford’s injured right thumb has caused him to leave Sunday’s game against the Cowboys.

Stafford appeared to injure his thumb just before halftime, and it appeared to be hurt again when Stafford stretched to score on a two-point conversion to star the second half.

Stafford has been replaced by backup quarterback Brett Rypien late in the third quarter. — Safid Deen

Rams score: Ben Skowronek 20-yard touchdown reception

The Rams scored on their first drive of the second half and trimmed their deficit to 33-17.

Matthew Stafford threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Ben Skowronek, then Stafford caught the two-point conversion as the Rams chose to run the Philly Special play.

The Rams’ deficit is down to 16 points, and they’ve scored 14 points unanswered going back to the end of the first half. — Safid Deen

Cowboys vs. Rams halftime score: Cowboys 33, Rams 9

Maybe, the Rams take some momentum into the second half?

The Rams scored their first touchdown of the game, a 1-yard run by running back Royce Freeman, with four seconds left before halftime.

But that’s the only thing that went the Rams’ way during the first half in Dallas.

Dak Prescott has thrown three touchdowns with two to receiver Ceedee Lamb, while the Cowboys defense scored a pick-six and safety to cruise out to a commanding lead in this one.

Something to watch in the second half: Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford appeared to hit his thumb on his throwing hand just before halftime. — Safid Deen

Cowboys score: CeeDee Lamb 22-yard touchdown reception

Things are just plain getting out of hand at AT&T Stadium.

After the defense forced a three-and-out, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott went back to work, completing five consecutive passes – three to CeeDee Lamb, including a 22-yard touchdown – to give Dallas a stunning 33-3 lead over the Rams just before halftime.

Prescott has completed 17-of-22 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns. — Steve Gardner

Rams intercept Dak Prescott in red zone

The Rams defense slowed the Cowboys roll with an interception midway through the second quarter.

On first-and-goal from the Rams 9-yardline, Dak Prescott took the snap from shotgun and threw to the center of the end zone where a cluster of players were standing.

The ball was tipped by tight end Sean McKeon and it landed in the hands of Jordan Fuller for his first interception of the year. The defensive back sprinted his way to the 20-yard line where the Rams will take over. — Victoria Hernandez

Cowboys score: Ceedee Lamb 10-yard touchdown reception

Quite simply, the Cowboys are on a roll.

After scoring on a safety, Cowboys returner KaVontae Turpin returned the ensuing kickoff 63 yards to get Dallas immediately into the red zone.

And Dak Prescott threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Ceedee Lamb to increase their lead to 26-3 early in the second quarter.

Not a bad start by the Cowboys, while it’s been nothing but bad for the Rams. — Safid Deen

Cowboys score: Blocked punt results in safety

The Cowboys are doing well on the NFL scoring bingo card.

Cowboys defender Sam Williams blocked the Rams’ punt early in the first quarter, and the ball rolled out the back of the end zone for a safety.

The Cowboys have scored a receiving touchdown, a pick-six touchdown and now a safety with a majority of the second quarter and the second half remaining in this game. They lead 19-3. — Safid Deen

Cowboys score: Pick-six by Daron Bland

The Cowboys have scored on back-to-back possessions. This time, it was their defense putting numbers on the board.

On their first play after Dallas scored a field goal, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford took the snap from shotgun and threw to his left toward star receiver Cooper Kupp. Cornerback Daron Bland ran in front of the pass and had a clear lane to the end zone.

Coach Al Harris cheered from the sideline, crossing his fingers while yelling, and then gave Bland a high-five and a hug when he came over.

The score was Bland’s third pick-six of the season. The last player to have as many was Marcus Peters in 2019, per the FOX broadcast. Bland now has nine interceptions in the past two seasons, the most in the league.

The Cowboys are up 17-3. — Victoria Hernandez

Cowboys score: Field goal by Brandon Aubrey

The Rams defense is keeping the game close as they held the Cowboys to a field goal.

CeeDee Lamb made two key plays to march the Cowboys down the field, but on third-and-4 from the Los Angeles 30, Aaron Donald sacked Dak Prescott to send Dallas backward and force a field goal try.

Kicker Brandon Aubrey lined up for the 58-yard kick and made it, his longest boot of the season.

The Cowboys are up 10-3. — Victoria Hernandez

Rams score: Field goal by Lucas Havrisik

The Rams are on the board, but not how they’d like to be.

Cowboys defensive back Jourdan Lewis appeared to hold star Rams receiver Cooper Kupp on a pass that would’ve gotten the Rams to the 10-yard line, but there was no penalty.

Kupp was tackled on a 2-yard pass on the next play, and the Rams had to settle for a field goal on their opening drive. Rams kicker Lucas Havrisik nailed it from 33 yards out. — Safid Deen

Cowboys score: Jake Ferguson 18-yard touchdown reception

Dak Prescott found rookie tight end Jake Ferguson for an 18-yard touchdown to help the Cowboys take a 7-0 lead over the Rams after the first drive of the game.

The Cowboys went 10 plays for 75 yards in the first 5:16 of the game to take a lead.

Despite the sacks, Prescott was 6 of 7 for 77 yards on the drive, finding receiver Ceedee Lamb three times for 26 yards.

Cowboys receivers Brandon Cooks and Michael Gallup added catches of 19 and 14 yards, respectively, during the drive. — Safid Deen

Dak Prescott sacked twice on first drive

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was sacked three times on the first four plays, but the second sack was omitted because of a penalty.

Still, Prescott felt the pressure early from the Rams with star defensive tackle Aaron Donald getting the first sack, and second by rookie Byron Young. — Safid Deen

What time is Cowboys vs. Rams?

The Cowboys and Rams kickoff at 1 p.m. ET. The game will air on FOX.

Cowboys vs. Rams: Predictions and picks

Here are the USA TODAY Sports’ staff picks for this game:

  • Lorenzo Reyes: Cowboys
  • Tyler Dragon: Cowboys
  • Victoria Hernandez: Cowboys
  • Jordan Mendoza: Cowboys
  • Jarrett Bell: Cowboys
  • Safid Deen: Cowboys
  • Nate Davis: Cowboys
  • Chris Bumbaca: Cowboys
  • Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz: Cowboys

Cowboys vs. Rams odds

The top NFL betting apps list the Dallas Cowboys as one of the best bets for NFL Week 8 in their matinee matchup with the Los Angeles Rams. The Cowboys are 6.5-point road favorites against the Rams, according to the BetMGM NFL odds. Looking to wager? Check out the best mobile sports betting apps offering NFL betting promos in 2023.

Neither team boasts players among those with the best NFL MVP betting odds in 2023, but Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (+5000) is an interesting longshot. However, the Cowboys (+1100) own some of the best early Super Bowl betting odds.

Not interested in this game? Our guide to NFL betting odds, picks and spreads has you covered with Thursday Night Football odds, Sunday Night Football odds and/or Monday Night Football odds.

If you’re new to sports betting, don’t worry. We have tips for beginners on how to place a bet online. And USA TODAY readers can claim exclusive promos and bonus codes with the online sportsbooks and sports betting sites. — Richard Morin

All odds provided by BetMGM

Cowboys vs. Rams: Predictions, picks and odds

The Cowboys are favorites to defeat the Rams, according to BetMGM NFL odds.

  • Spread: Cowboys (-6.5)
  • Moneyline: Cowboys (-275); Rams (+220)
  • Over/under: 45.5

USA TODAY Sports’ staff picks for this game:

  • Lorenzo Reyes: Cowboys 28, Rams 20
  • Tyler Dragon: Cowboys 24, Rams 20
  • Safid Deen: Cowboys 31, Rams 17
  • Victoria Hernandez: Cowboys 25, Rams 17
  • Jordan Mendoza: Cowboys 27, Rams 19

Week 8 fantasy football rankings

The Cowboys-Rams game is expected to be one of the higher-scoring games Sunday, so expect Dallas teammates Tony Polland and CeeDee Lamb to be major factors on the stat sheet. Pollard is the No. 12 running back and Lamb the No. 10 wide receiver in USA TODAY Sports’ Week 8 fantasy rankings. The Rams counter with the week’s top receiving duo in Cooper Kupp (WR7) and Puka Nakua (WR11).

Elsewhere, there’s already six inches of snow on the ground in Denver, which could have a major impact as the Broncos host the Kansas City Chiefs. While Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce should still be must-starts in Week 8, their supporting casts should be downgraded. — Steve Gardner

Week 8 cheat sheet: PPR fantasy football rankings at each position

Micah Parsons was scary-good on offense in high school

Before Micah Parsons became one of the NFL’s best players, he was a nightmare matchup for central Pennsylvania high school coaches.

As a running back. And kicker. And return man. And, obviously, a defensive end/linebacker.

At Central Dauphin and Harrisburg, the two high schools where Parsons played, he did it all. It’s no wonder, then, that the Dallas Cowboys’ star pass rusher has lobbied for opportunities on the other side of the ball.

“He could do it all on offense,” said Mick Vecchio, the now-retired former head coach of Governor Mifflin, the team that knocked Parsons’ Harrisburg squad out of the Pennsylvania 6A playoffs in 2017, his senior year. “He would run around us, and he would run over you. The combination of the two, just unbelievable.

“He was a monster among boys.”

Read Chris Bumbaca’s full feature here.

Who is the highest-paid NFL player?

The NFL’s top 15 players in average annual salary are all quarterbacks, according to OverTheCap.com. As Joe Burrow proved in his new deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, teams place a huge priority on having a top-flight QB under center. Burrow’s five-year, $275 million contract extension made him the league’s highest paid player at a staggering average annual value of $55 million. San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa is the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league after signing a five-year, $170 million extension.

Here’s the complete list of the league’s highest-paid players.

Who are the highest paid NFL players at each position?

We have a complete list at every position:

  • Quarterbacks
  • Running back
  • Receivers
  • Tight ends
  • Offensive tackles
  • Offensive guards
  • Centers
  • Edge rushers
  • Interior defensive linemen
  • Linebackers
  • Cornerbacks
  • Safeties
  • Kickers
  • Punters

One trade idea for eight Super Bowl contenders at deadline

Football players typically approach their craft exactly that way given the nature of the game essentially demands as much. And NFL teams strive to make a similar pledge given collective success very much requires the entire roster – and more – to contribute in a way not necessarily needed in other team sports. But one way to truly emphasize being all in for a Super Bowl push is making that additional move at the trade deadline, a last-minute tweak that just might put you over the top while also signaling intention to the locker room.

Nate Davis came up with one trade these eight Super Bowl contenders should strongly consider ahead of Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline to execute a transaction.

How much does the average NFL ticket cost?

The average price of a 2023 NFL ticket is $377, according to TicketSmarter data. It’s a major jump from last season, when the average price was $235. Leading the NFL in ticket costs is the Las Vegas Raiders, which has an average cost of $582 per ticket. Behind the Raiders are the Super Bowl 57 contestants: the Kansas City Chiefs at $578 and Philadelphia Eagles at $559. Here are the five highest ticket averages:

  • Las Vegas Raiders: $582
  • Kansas City Chiefs: $578
  • Philadelphia Eagles: $559
  • Dallas Cowboys: $545
  • New England Patriots: $534

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Atlanta Falcons have the cheapest average price at $225. They are followed by the Houston Texans ($236) and Arizona Cardinals ($250). Here are the lowest five ticket averages:

  • Atlanta Falcons: $225
  • Houston Texans: $236
  • Arizona Cardinals: $250
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $263
  • Tennessee Titans: $265

— Jordan Mendoza

How much do NFL players care about their Madden rating? A lot, actually.

Armed with a clipboard and his disarming personality, Clint Oldenburg readies himself for the questions. And on this particular Friday afternoon at Washington Commanders practice, there will be plenty.

The interrogators are the players themselves, and the topic of their consternation (in most cases) is both subjective and a cultural touchpoint: their Madden NFL 24 ratings.

“They care a lot,” Oldenburg, a ratings adjuster and former NFL offensive lineman, told USA TODAY Sports. “In my mind, the Madden rating is kind of like their street cred out there.”

That’s why some players’ reactions to their initial ratings can be combative. Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, upon learning he was an 87 overall, took to social media to display his displeasure.

Read Chris Bumbaca’s full feature here.

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Editor’s note: Follow all the “Sunday Night Football” action between the Chargers and Bears with USA TODAY Sports’ live coverage. The Dallas Cowboys thoroughly demolished the Los Angeles Rams 43-20 at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, extending their home winning streak to 11 games. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns as Dallas built a 30-point lead in the first half…

Editor’s note: Follow all the “Sunday Night Football” action between the Chargers and Bears with USA TODAY Sports’ live coverage. The Dallas Cowboys thoroughly demolished the Los Angeles Rams 43-20 at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, extending their home winning streak to 11 games. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns as Dallas built a 30-point lead in the first half…

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