INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The Los Angeles Rams ran through their tunnel and into empty SoFi Stadium for the very first time amid sparkling fireworks, flashing lights and the prerecorded cheers of fans watching from home.
So this isn't the Hollywood ending that anybody pictured on a landmark night for professional football's return to Los Angeles.
The Rams will still take plenty of sweet memories from this inaugural game.
Malcolm Brown rushed for a career-high 79 yards and two touchdowns, Jared Goff passed for 275 yards and Los Angeles beat the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 on Sunday night.
“It was a special day,” said Goff, who went 20 for 31. “It's not the way you'd imagine it, but I think we’ll look back on this a long time from now and realize the importance of it, but it was really cool to go out there and get a win and play really well.”
Robert Woods had six catches for 105 yards as the Rams improved to 4-0 in season openers under coach Sean McVay and spoiled the debut of Mike McCarthy, Dallas' first new head coach in a decade.
“To be at this stadium for the first time and break it in with a win, that’s what you work for, that’s what you practice for,” said Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who had the first sack in stadium history.
Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown and caught another scoring pass, but the Cowboys began a season of high expectations by losing three starters to injury in the first half and then failing to mount a late comeback in a scoreless fourth quarter for both teams.