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Rams Vs. Cowboys: It's Still The Execution, Stupid

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August 18, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams special teams coordinator John Fassel looks on in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams won 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
August 18, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams special teams coordinator John Fassel looks on in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams won 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

All the hyperbole about the third preseason game has gone out the window with Jeff Fisher. The St. Louis Rams head coach plans to play his starters next week in the final preseason game, and not just a nominal series or two. It's a good move, but one we'll be watching to see that it does not back fire with an unfortunate injury. Let's stay focused on Saturday against the Cowboys.

Preseason football is wearing a little thin. I'm ready for the games to start counting, but I know the Rams still need the work. There are a few things I want to see from the Rams in this outing, basic stuff, but tell tale signs that the team is headed in the right direction ... especially since playing the Chiefs seems to be akin to taking on a junior varsity squad these days.

Injury Free, The Choice For Me - Above all else, this matters the most. Get out of here without a hit to the roster and you can always live again to fight another day, no matter the results.

Execution - Again, simple, but I want to see the Rams offense and defense doing the right things without error ... or penalty. Remember, sometimes you execute perfectly, but so does a defense. As long as the routes are crisp, the plays are identified, and the right decision are made, I'll be happy.

Block & Tackle - More basics, I'm like an algebra teacher with this stuff. The pass blocking was stellar last week, from the first team. It needs to be on par with that if not better. Ditto the tackling, which is the key to keeping those five-yards gains from turning into 50, a la DeMarco Murray last season against the Rams.

Play Action - This is the play from which all others will originate for the Rams offense ... and one that burned the defense often last season.

Give me your predictions & keys to the game in the comments.