Here's how the teams, executives and staff protested -- or not -- around the league after President Trump's recent comments. Mark Hoffer mhoffer@star-telegram.com
Here's how the teams, executives and staff protested -- or not -- around the league after President Trump's recent comments. Mark Hoffer mhoffer@star-telegram.com

Dallas Cowboys

Are quarterback Jared Goff and the Rams this season’s sleeper team?

September 27, 2017 03:11 PM

UPDATED September 27, 2017 06:31 PM

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff has a different view of the NFL.

Last season, his view was mostly from the ground as he was sacked 26 times and lost all seven of his starts as a rookie.

So far in 2017, he’s guided the Rams to a 2-1 start and has looked like a No. 1 overall pick in doing it. In the Rams’ 41-39 win at San Francisco last week, Goff threw three touchdowns for a 145.8 passer rating.

A year ago as a rookie, Goff threw three touchdowns in the first half of his first career road start in a Week 12 match-up with New Orleans, marking the first time a Rams passer had thrown three touchdowns in the first half since 2010.

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In the game against the Saints in 2016, Goff became the third rookie in more than 20 years to throw three touchdowns in his first career road start.

So their have been signs of his potential.

The Rams visit the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at AT&T Stadium. Kickoff is noon.

Here are five storylines to watch:

Goff’s growth

Jared Goff had a forgettable rookie season last year. He was intercepted more times (seven) than he had touchdown passes (five). But he’s already matched his touchdown throws from last season and is showing why he was the top overall pick a year ago. Goff had a 145.8 passer rating in the win over the Niners. For the season, he has a 118.2 passer rating and has only been sacked three times.

Gurley’s back

Much like Goff, running back Todd Gurley didn’t have a great season last year. Gurley rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a rookie, but finished with 885 a year ago. Gurley is back in peak form, though, and is fourth in the league in rushing yards with 241 yards. Gurley has four rushing touchdowns but has also fumbled four times.

Donald watch

Aaron Donald is regarded as one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL, and could eventually be the highest-paid defensive player in the league. He held out this off-season in hopes of a new contract that never came. But he made his season debut in Week 2 against Washington, and registered his first sack last week.

Catching a break?

Wide receiver Sammy Watkins is questionable for Sunday’s game as he’s in the concussion protocol. His absence would benefit the Cowboys. Watkins joined the Rams in an Aug. 11 trade with the Buffalo Bills and has caught 13 of his 14 targets through the first three weeks. Watkins has been the Rams’ biggest receiving threat, leading the team with 194 yards and two touchdowns.

Youth matters

Rams coach Sean McVay is in his first year. He was hired at age 30, making him the youngest head coach in modern NFL history. The Cowboys are familiar with McVay. He served as the Redskins’ offensive coordinator for the past three seasons (and was with the Redskins since 2010) before taking over the Rams. He has worked under head coaches such as Jon Gruden, Mike Shanahan and Jay Gruden.

Drew Davison: 817-390-7760, @drewdavison