Cowboys' defense scores on fumble return, blocks punt for early lead over Rams

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Dorance Armstrong can be easily overlooked on a Dallas Cowboys defense with Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs and DeMarcus Lawrence.

But on the first two drives Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, Armstrong stood out. On the third snap, Armstrong easily slipped past guard David Edwards to sack Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and force a fumble that Lawrence scooped up and returned 19 yards for a touchdown.

For all the good the Cowboys' defense has done in the first four games, coordinator Dan Quinn has lamented the missed opportunities on takeaways. Facing a subpar line that has left Stafford exposed, the Cowboys got their first defensive touchdown of the season and the first recovered fumble as well.

A year ago, the Cowboys had six defensive touchdowns, including a 40-yard interception return against Washington by ... Lawrence.

Armstrong ended the Rams' second drive by blocking a Riley Dixon punt that the Cowboys turned into a Brett Maher field goal and a 9-0 lead with 8 minutes, 43 seconds left in the first quarter.

Tony Pollard answered Cooper Kupp's 75-yard touchdown catch with a 57-yard touchdown run for the Cowboys to re-take the lead. Pollard ran through four would-be tacklers, including Grant Haley as he closed in on the goal line.

Pollard's run was the second-longest of his career. He had a 58-yarder for a touchdown last season against the New Orleans Saints. It's the third play of 46 yards or more this season for Pollard.