Come Sunday, Steven and the Rams take on arguably their most formidable challenge this season: a Dallas Cowboys team coming off a tough loss to the Cardinals.

Like most defenses that face Steven, the Cowboys’ D has made him their focal point, and for good reason: SJax is leading the Rams in carries (96), rush yards (348), receptions (23), and receiving yards (243), and yards from scrimmage (591).

Possessing a 6-foot-2, 235 pound frame and 4.4 speed, Steven is far-and-away the biggest threat in the Rams’ offense. No. 39 can run by you or over you, as many opposing defenses have learned the hard way. Former teammate Stephen Davis, a fellow power tailback, was astonished at Steven’s strength and power.

“I’ve played 11 years,” said Davis, Jackson’s former backup. “I’ve never seen a guy break as many tackles.”

Rams’ backup RB Brian Leonard was placed on IR after incurring a shoulder injury last week against Washington, and Antonio Pittman is still nursing a lower leg injury. That leaves even more touches for SJax and Travis Minor, the only two healthy backs remaining on the Rams’ roster.

The Cowboys are planning on trying to stop No. 39 (keyword: “trying”) by employing eight men in the box, and keeping their fastest defenders like DeMarcus Ware on the field as much as possible, according to the Dallas Morning News. Hopefully the Rams’ passing game can keep the defense honest and open some holes for Steven.

SJax and the Rams are hosting the ‘Boys at the Edward Jones Dome, and kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. We’ll see if interim coach Jim Haslett and the Rams can take advantage of an injured Tony Romo, who can’t be fully acquainted with the reeling Cowboys’ latest acquisition, WR Roy Williams. Look for offensive coordinator Al Saunders to turn to Steven early and often, especially with quarterback Marc Bulger listed as day-to-day with swelling in the index finger of his throwing hand.

Leonard, Manning placed on IR (Belleville News-Democrat, Oct. 14, 2008)
Regime Change (ESPN the Mag, Oct. 15, 2008)
In focus: St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson (The Dallas Morning News, Oct. 14, 2008)