Rams ground up Cowboys to advance to NFC title game

Los Angeles Rams running back C.J. Anderson scores a touchdown in the first half against the Dallas Cowboy in a divisional-round playoff game at The Coliseum in Los Angeles, California on January 12, 2019. Photo by John McCoy/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 13 (UPI) — In order to move ahead, the Los Angeles Rams stayed close to the ground.

In fact, it was the ground game that was mostly responsible for the Rams’ first playoff win in 14 years, as C.J. Anderson rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-22 victory over the visiting Dallas Cowboys in the NFC playoffs Saturday night.

It was a return to glory of sorts for Anderson, who was cut by three teams this season before latching on with the Rams.

Featured back Todd Gurley assisted Anderson in charging through the Cowboys’ typically staunch run defense, as Gurley went for 115 yards and a score — as the Rams compiled a team playoff-record 273 rushing yards to advance to their first NFC championship game since 2002.

They meet the winner of Sunday’s game between the New Orleans Saints and defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys were playing catch-up all afternoon, and one week after their defense held Seattle’s league-best ground attack in check. But against the Rams, they surrendered two 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time since the NFL-AFL merger in

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for a TD and Amari Cooper caught an early TD pass for the Cowboys (11-7), who still haven’t won a playoff game on the road in 26 years. After winning the NFC East and beating Seattle last week, Dallas lost in the divisional playoff round for the sixth consecutive time and fell short of its first trip to the NFC championship game since January 1993.

The Cowboys, who largely shut down Seattle’s league-best rushing attack last week, hadn’t allowed two 100-yard rushers in a playoff game since the NFL-AFL merger more than 50 years ago.

The result was a 23-7 hole from which quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliot and the Cowboys failed to climb. Elliott was held to 47 yards on 20 carries, and while Prescott rushed for 266, his touchdown with 2:11 left was the case of too little, too late.

Rams QB Jared Goff spend the majority of the evening handing off to Anderson and Gurley, but still managed to pass for 186 yards. Along with that, Goff’s 11-yard scramble with 1:51 to play essentially sealed the victory and kept the Cowboys from getting one final shot to complete their comeback attempt.

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