Rams vs. Cowboys: How the teams match up for NFC playoff game

Rams quarterback Jared Goff appeared to return to form during season-ending victories over the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers. But the Cowboys defense, under veteran coordinator Rod Marinelli, presents a far greater challenge. Goff passed for 32 touchdowns with 12 interceptions this season. Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks each have more than 1,200 yards receiving, and receiver Josh Reynolds and tight end Gerald Everett are other threats. Running back Todd Gurley is expected to play after sitting out the last two games because of a left knee injury. It remains to be seen whether a near one-month layoff will help or hinder him against a defense that limited the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL’s top rushing team, to only 73 yards in last week’s NFC wild-card victory. C.J. Anderson, who rushed for 167 and 132 yards during Gurley’s absence, also should get some carries. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth left the game against the 49ers because of a knee bruise, but he said he was ready to go. The line will be charged with holding off a front seven that includes end Demarcus Lawrence, who has 10½ sacks. Linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith and cornerback Byron Jones are other standouts.

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