FRISCO - The connection between Los Angeles Rams quarterback Mathew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp is undoubtedly a main reason the Rams hoisted the Lombardi Trophy last season. The duo produced insane numbers on the field while also prioritizing bonding off the field in their first season together.
It paid off; Stafford's first year with the Rams was one of the best of his career while Kupp led the league in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947) and receiving touchdowns (16) on the way to being named Offensive Player of the Year.
Both players are back for LA and will attempt to defend their Super Bowl LVI title (fourth best odds at +1100) to become first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since New England did in 2004 and 2005. However, there has been some major shakeups with superstars around the league that could contend to become the best new quarterback, wide receiver duo.
The Dallas Cowboys receiver room looks different than it did a year ago. With the trade of Amari Cooper and the status of a torn-ACL-recovering Michael Gallup still up in the air, the fate of Cowboys aerial attack rests with CeeDee Lamb in his third year. The good news is, quarterback Dak Prescott and Lamb are a duo trending in the right direction.
Lamb led Dallas in receiving yards with 1,102 in 2021, hauling in 79 of 120 targets and six touchdowns. With more targets coming Lamb’s way in 2022, Prescott asked for Lamb's locker to be moved next to his to further deepen their off-field connection. While Lamb and Prescott are not a new combo, the Dallas stars are in a new situation which could lend to success that rivals Stafford and Kupp.
What would help Dallas immensely: if a Dak plus rookie Jalen Tolbert tandem would catch fire, the third-round prospect opening camp in a month with an inside track on being a starter.
Other potential new duos who could make a lot of noise: Derek Carr and Davante Adams. Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill, and Russell Wilson and Courtland Sutton.
But what about new Rams wide receiver Allen Robinson? The big-bodied Robinson joins Kupp and tight end Tyler Higbee to make it even harder for opposing defenses.
"Allen Robinson has put up good numbers throughout his career without necessarily getting help from his quarterbacks. Some would argue he hasn't gotten much help from his coach of offensive coordinator either, " said Rams on SI reporter Mike Fisher. "Allen Robinson has a chance to surprise some people because he's never played in a system, with a quarterback like the Rams have."
Rocky (Mountain) Start: WR Jalen Tolbert on 'Learning Experience' in Cowboys Debut
Tolbert was one of many Cowboys with a tough preseason debut, but he's keeping it positive.
Cowboys McCarthy Dismisses Penalty Connection from 2021 to Debacle in Denver
Follow along as we keep you up to date on Saturday night's preseason matchup versus Dallas and Denver.
Cowboys Cover? CBs Struggle in Loss at Broncos
Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright didn't look good in coverage in Saturday night's loss at the Denver Broncos.
Robinson is coming off his worst NFL season as he struggled through injury in an inefficient offense in Chicago. The 28-year old is looking to return to his production in 2020 when he finished with 102 receptions and 1250 yards with Bears quarterback Mitchell Tribusky. The former Penn State wideout has already impressed Stafford.
"I've been very, very impressed with his ability to grasp our offense, his role in our offense," the Rams quarterback said earlier this month, via the team's official website. "His understanding, even when he might miss something or mess something up, the reason is so sound on why he did something -- he heard this and thought that, and I'm like, 'That's a great thought.' It's really productive growth for him in our offense."
How will the Rams offense evolve in Stafford's second season? Now with Robinson's ability to come up with contested catches, coach Sean McVay has more options to get creative.
While opposing defenses worry about Kupp, there is another dangerous duo in the league ... Quite possibly the best new combo: Stafford and Robinson.
Meanwhile, Dak and Lamb try to match them … and Tolbert hopefully helps as well.
Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Dallas Cowboys? Subscribe to the Daily Cowboys SI Newsletter with Mike Fisher now!
Follow FishSports on Twitter
Follow Cowboys / Fish on Facebook