ARLINGTON — The official archives will forever decree the Rams returned home to Los Angeles on January 12, 2016, by edict of the 32 owners of the National Football League and one very persuasive push by Jerry Jones, the influential owner of the Dallas Cowboys.
Just don’t be surprised if somewhere down the road someone points to October 1, 2017 as the day the Rams truly became ours again.
They were L.A.’s team in name only last year. But it never quite felt right or natural. They were trying to re-introduce themselves to their new surroundings and we were trying to acclimate ourselves to their presence again.
In some ways it felt forced. Contrived, even.
We knew them. But we didn’t know them, if that makes any sense.
It didn’t help that they forced us to endure a 4-12 season that, incredibly, was even worse than the record suggests. So this is what we waited 21 years for, we muttered to ourselves.
It was a bad deal all around.
That all changed on Sunday when the Rams strolled into Dallas and miraculously overcame a great team in a hostile environment, injuries, penalties, a shaky defensive first half, communication problems and those God-awful uniforms to beat the Cowboys, 35-30.
They arrived, finally, in L.A.’s hearts and imagination by going toe to toe with one of the best teams in the NFL and outplaying, out-muscling and out coaching them at every critical turn.
That it all happened while Jones — who played one of the biggest roles of all in the Rams returning to L.A. — watching from his luxury suite only made it all the more dramatic.
The Rams were measured when the situation warranted. Aggressive when absolutely nothing less was required. And resilient throughout.
They spotted the Cowboys leads of 17-6 and 24-13 only to come roaring back in the third quarter, limiting the Cowboys to just two first downs over their first four second-half possessions while scoring 19 straight points to take a 32-24 lead.
“I think the number one thing we’ve shown every week is there is absolutely no quit in these guys,” Goff said. “I think that’s not only the sign of a good team but a team that’s maturing. A team that has some veteran leadership now and a team that’s getting older and starting to learn situations better.”
They did it with Todd Gurley running all over the Cowboys defense by rushing 23 times for 121 yards and catching seven passes for 94 yards and one touchdown. Gurley’s 215 yards from scrimmage on…