Los Angeles Rams Will Have Critical Decisions To Make After Their Week 8 Game In Dallas

Win or lose, the Los Angeles Rams will have choices on the table in either direction, depending on the result of their big game on the road against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

The Rams, who lost last week to Pittsburgh, enter Sunday’s matchup at 3-4 and take on a Dallas squad, who is 4-2.

The Rams go from facing a defense led by T.J. Watt in Pittsburgh to a defensive front led by Micah Parsons, who can line up anywhere on the line and be a force.

Los Angeles had the opportunity to get a win last week against the Steelers but could not quite hold on, losing 24-17.

Big decisions loom for Rams General Manager Les Snead and the team as the NFL trade deadline comes on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET for the Blue and Yellow.

Los Angeles has already shown it can be a seller by moving running back Cam Akers to Minnesota and wide receiver Van Jefferson to Atlanta within the last five weeks.

However, the Rams have also shown they can be in a buyer mentality with the talent they have in players such as defensive tackle Aaron Donald, wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua as well as running back Kyren Williams and quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Here are the two options the Rams go in before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

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Option A: Los Angeles Rams Win, They Buy

The Los Angeles Rams are going up against a formidable opponent in the Cowboys this week.

If the Rams can not only pull off a road victory, but a win against a team that has playoff aspirations, Los Angeles will have that much more confidence heading into another potent environment next week when they go to Green Bay.

That is two NFC teams before the team’s bye where the Rams can put themselves in a position to play late in January, especially if the team returns to .500 and is able to go after a spot in the wild card, or even in the NFC West title, sitting 1.5 games back of Seattle and two games back of San Francisco for first place in the division entering this week.

Through eight games after Sunday, the team understands its strengths and weakness to value where they need to improve.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Rams rank fourth best in completion percentage, allowing just 58.1% of opposing passes to be caught, and is tied with Houston and Baltimore for the least amount of passing touchdowns allowed with four.

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However, the team ranks fourth worst in sacks this season.

Offensively, Los Angeles ranks sixth in the league in both 365.1 yards per game and first downs per game. However, Stafford has been sacked 18 times this season, which is tied with New Orleans’ Derek Carr for eighth most.

Last year, Seattle was the final NFC team to make the postseason at 9-8. If the Rams want to reach the postseason with that record, it is going to take winning at least six games to get in that position.

As a result, there are more favorable options for the Rams to improve the roster with a win on Sunday.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Rams
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Option B: Los Angeles Rams Lose, More Complicated Thoughts

If the Los Angeles Rams cannot come through with a victory against America’s team, the decisions get a little cloudier before the trade deadline. Los Angeles would be 3-5 and would probably be looking for ways to improve the roster not only for 2023 but for the future.

After the bye week following the Green Bay game, the Rams host Seattle, go on the road to Arizona and host Cleveland before traveling to Baltimore and the final four regular season games.

Being 3-5 and making the playoffs is not impossible, but it is obviously much tougher than being 4-4.

Selling pieces could lead to more draft picks for next April’s draft, or even sell in a way to improve the roster.

Entering Sunday’s game, the Rams currently hold the No. 8 position in the NFC playoff picture, one spot behind the final position, trailing Minnesota and two spots behind the Cowboys.

Los Angeles is currently ahead of Tampa Bay, Washington, and New Orleans in the standings.

With a loss, the Rams would fall behind the Buccaneers in the playoff standings after they lost to Buffalo on Thursday.

Losing on Sunday in Dallas would challenge Snead and the Los Angeles Rams to make tougher decisions entering the trade deadline as to what the best approach is.