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    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs on the strength of their running game and run defense. On Saturday night Limited Brandon Allen Jersey , it proved to be their downfall.The Cowboys allowed their most rushing yards in a postseason game, while Ezekiel Elliott was held to 47 yards in a 30-22 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. It was the sixth straight loss in the divisional round for Dallas, and it has not reached the NFC championship game since 1996.“We did not do a good enough job defending the run, obviously,” coach Jason Garrett said. “They were also committed to stopping our run. They had a lot of people around the line of scrimmage and that’s what they were going to do.”The epitome of the Cowboys’ ground game woes on both sides came in the fourth quarter.Dallas was down 23-15 and on the Rams 35 when Elliott was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1. Los Angeles then went on a 12-play, 65-yard touchdown drive where all but two plays were runs. The drive was capped off by a 1-yard score by C.J. Anderson.“They dominated us up front, we didn’t get any movement,” said Elliott about the fourth-down play.Quarterback Dak Prescott said that stop thwarted any momentum the Cowboys had after being down 23-7 midway through the third quarter.“We didn’t get it done on fourth down and that changed the game right there. We weren’t able to execute when we needed to and it hurt,” he said. “Had we made it, we still would have a nice balance running and passing and we wouldn’t have had to drop back on every play.”Dallas allowed only 73 yards in its wild-card round victory over Seattle, who came in with the NFL’s top-ranked rushing attack. The Cowboys didn’t have the same success against the league’s No. 3 rushing team, surrendering 273 yards. The old mark was 269 against the Rams in 1986 as Eric Dickerson ran for 248 yards.On Saturday Ramik Wilson Jersey , it was two backs that gave the Cowboys problems as Todd Gurley (115) and Anderson (123) averaged 6.1 yards per carry. It marked the first time two running backs have had 100-yard games against the Cowboys in the postseason, and the first time it has happened to them in any game since Baltimore in December 2008.The Rams did it behind a dominant game from the offensive line, with left tackle Andrew Whitworth leading the way by winning his matchups when paired up against defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory.“I don’t think they outmuscled us, it was a combination of things. We didn’t get upfield as well as we usually do,” defensive end Tyrone Crawford said.The Cowboys’ running game also struggled. Elliott averaged just 2.4 yards on 20 carries. It marked the first time in three postseason games that the third-year running back was held under 100 yards.Prescott had a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter, but wasn’t used on any designed runs until late in the game, when Dallas was down by two scores. Prescott said he wasn’t surprised about that while Garrett said most of the run-pass option plays called resulted in handoffs.The Rams came in ranked 23rd in run defense during the regular season, and had allowed 98 yards or more in 10 straight games. The 50 yards allowed marked a season low and the second-fewest since former Cowboys coach Wade Phillips became defensive coordinator in 2017.“We played against a real good front,” Elliott said. “You guys kept asking me about stats and 5.1 yards per carry (allowed by the Rams) and I told you its playoff football and none of that (stuff) matters anymore. They came out and played better than us tonight.” It’s like old times in the AFC West.Jon Gruden glowering on the sideline. Philip Rivers surrounded by co-stars. An air-it-out quarterback in Kansas City. Von Miller sauntering around Denver again thanks to the arrival of a new pass rush partner in Bradley Chubb.Widely regarded as the best defender in the draft, Chubb, the No. 5 pick overall, teams with Miller Dante Fowler Jr Jersey Salute to Service , Shane Ray and Shaq Barrett to form a fearsome front ready to rankle the likes of Rivers, Patrick Mahomes II and Derek Carr, and reclaim the division crown they used to own when Peyton Manning was around.The Broncos have a bona fide QB again themselves with the free agent signing of Case Keenum, who’s out to prove his breakout 2017 season in Minnesota was no fluke.He’ll have to navigate a new division that features some of the league’s best pass-rushing duos ready to wreck game plans and quarterbacks alike.The Chargers feature Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram as bookends to an ever-improving defense. The Chiefs have Dee Ford and Justin Houston to cover warts on their defense. Oakland has Bruce Irvin and — maybe — Khalil Mack, who wants a long-term contract.Here’s a quick tour around the AFC West:RECHARGED CHARGERS : The Chargers ranked third in the league last year in yielding 17 points a game, but their run defense was their soft underbelly and kept them from an even bigger bounce-back season (9-7) in coach Anthony Lynn’s first year.Enter versatile rookie safety Derwin James, who was selected at No. 17 overall in the first round of the NFL draft out of Florida State. James played in the box effectively as a strong safety for the Seminoles, and he’s learning to play deep as a free safety. He’s also getting chances to rush the passer from multiple spots in the formation, adding more experiences to his skill set.The addition of James and a year of familiarity in defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s system have the Chargers expecting big things in 2018.”It’s looking like we are going to have a great defense,” Bosa said.And that would take pressure off Rivers in the Chargers’ quest for their first division title since 2009.RESUSCITATED SANDERS : Emmanuel Sanders proclaimed Denver as “wide receiver heaven” upon his arrival in 2014, and with Manning, Sanders indeed found paradise Authentic Cory Littleton Jersey , setting career highs with 101 catches for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns his first season in the Rocky Mountains.Nirvana gave way to wide receiver purgatory after Manning’s retirement, however.Sanders caught just 47 passes for 555 yards and two touchdowns last year when he was stifled by a nagging ankle injury and the Broncos’ QB turnstile that churned through Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch.Energized by a return to health and Keenum’s arrival, Sanders is ready for a comeback, sporting a rookie’s enthusiasm to go with his veteran moxie while building chemistry with his new quarterback.”I’m just loving football these days,” Sanders said.MAHOMES’ MOMENT: After trading away ball-protecting Alex Smith to Washington, Andy Reid is turning over the reins to Mahomes, the athletic Texas Tech QB who’s a perfect fit for the Chiefs’ steady diet of misdirection and multi-option reads.Eric Bieniemy takes over as offensive coordinator following Matt Nagy’s hiring as Bears head coach, and he’ll have plenty of firepower at his disposal with reigning rushing champ Kareem Hunt, speedy Tyreek Hill, star tight end Travis Kelce and new wide receiver Sammy Watkins.Mahomes gave the NFL a tantalizing glimpse of what he could do in the preseason when he ducked through a collapsing pocket and threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Hill Limited Austin Blythe Jersey , who burned three Falcons D-backs to catch the pass in stride.”I underthrew it, to be honest,” Mahomes said with a wry smile.The Chiefs might need to pile up the points to compensate for a depleted defense that was atrocious in the preseason after cutting loose veterans Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali and trading Marcus Peters to the Rams.LACK OF MACK: When Gruden gave up his TV gig to return to the sideline for the first time in a decade, he quickly jettisoned punter Marquette King in a surprising move. King wasted no time in signing with Denver, fueled in part by the revenge factor.King said he never had a chance to speak with Gruden before getting jettisoned in Oakland.”I just saw him on car commercials and stuff,” King said. “I get to see him two times a year.”Gruden didn’t just give the silent treatment to King but also to his star pass rusher as Mack held out for a long-term contract.Mack skipped the Raiders’ offseason program, all of training camp and the entire exhibition season. Whether he reports before the start of the regular season remains to be seen.”I don’t want to put any timetable on it,” Gruden said. “This has obviously been a long a process that has been grueling for both parties and fans and me personally. We’re just hoping we can get him in here.”PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: Chargers, Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders.AP Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow and Sports Writers Dave Skretta and Greg Beacham contributed.

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