LOS ANGELES — Jared Goff led the Rams on a touchdown drive in the opening minutes, and backup kicker Travis Coons made a tiebreaking 36-yard field goal with 6:11 left in Los Angeles’ 13-10 preseason victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night.
Goff completed three of four passes for 34 yards while playing eight snaps in the opener for the Rams, who need the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft to take a big step forward this fall.
The Rams punted after Goff’s first three plays, but Josh Forrest recovered the Cowboys’ muffed return. Robert Woods then caught Goff’s pass and fumbled near the goal line moments later, but rookie Cooper Kupp recovered for a score.
Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliott were among several starters sitting out for the Cowboys, who didn’t manage a first down until the second quarter.
Rookie Cooper Rush threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rico Gathers in the third quarter while completing his first eight passes for the Cowboys. Gathers scored in his second straight game.
Sean Mannion went 18 of 25 for 144 yards while playing most of the game. The Rams’ offense put up 271 yards in Sean McVay’s first day on the sideline as the youngest head coach in modern NFL history.
Kellen Moore went 8 for 17 in the first half for the Cowboys, but the offense perked up for Rush, the four-year starter at Central Michigan. Rush also caught the eye of Dallas coach Jason Garrett during the Hall of Fame Game last week, and his exceptional touch on the TD throw to Gathers was undeniably impressive.
Rush went 9 of 11 for 104 yards.
BUTTERFINGERS: The Rams hung in despite alarming ball security. Los Angeles fumbled six times, but recovered its own fumble four times before losing the last two. Rookie running back Justin Davis looked good while running for 70 yards in his college stadium, but he also fumbled twice.
SPECTATORS: Elliott and Prescott worked out on the Coliseum field before the game and then watched from the sideline in uniform. Elliott was given a six-game suspension by the NFL on Friday for injuring his girlfriend in July 2016.
BIG HIT: Dallas rookie Taco Charlton got his first sack, downing Mannion in the first quarter. The Michigan product took a bit of light criticism after a quiet debut in the Hall of Fame Game. “It looked like he was making some strides,” Garrett said.
NEW GUY: Rams receiver Sammy Watkins watched from the sideline in sweats after arriving in LA earlier in the day. The Rams traded a second-round pick and cornerback E.J. Gaines to Buffalo for the playmaking wideout. Watkins got a big ovation when he appeared on the scoreboard.
COOOOOP: Kupp was busy in his first professional game, making two early catches for 35 yards and scoring LA’s only touchdown while lining up all over McVay’s formations. The Rams chose the prolific Eastern Washington product in the third round, hoping to add playmakers to the NFL’s worst offense.