Gametime: 4:30 p.m. ET @ AT&T Stadium on CBS
Line: Chargers -1.5, Cowboys (56.3%)
Dan Bailey (K) – Questionable
La’El Collins (OT) – Questionable
Maliek Collins (DT) – Questionable
Anthony Hitchens (LB) – Questionable
Sean Lee (LB) – Out
Tyron Smith (OT) – Questionable
Joe Barksdale (OT) – Questionable
Travis Benjamin (WR) – Questionable
Corey Liuget (DT) – Questionable
Russell Okung (OT) – Questionable
James Onwualu (LB) – Questionable
Hayes Pullard III (LB) – Questionable
Mike Williams (WR) – Questionable
Though people see record, and given the recent history of the Chargers play throughout the years, some might suggest LA as a pushover team that Dallas should easily get the W from. Problem is, they have the perfect counter for the Cowboys troubles that has earned them a two game losing streak, in which they have been out scored by a combined 40 points.
Ranking 9th in total defense, the Chargers contain one of the best edge rushers in the game in Joey Bosa, with Melvin Ingram holding their LB core down, and Casey Hayward on the backend, who’s allowing just a 2.0 passer rating over the past 6 weeks when targeted. The good news for Dallas is Tyron has a good chance to finally suit up, as does Dan Bailey, in which the Cowboys could use all the star power for this game.
What might be the narrative for the matchup, other than the obvious Dak & Room comparisons that would be drawn out of this, is Melvin Gordon and the OL for the Chargers. Rushing for 633 yards on 3.8 yards per carry, Gordon could be the biggest threat for Dallas, as the defense will have to trot out without Lee once again, that gives up an average of 153.3 yards on the ground in his absence. Winless for the past three seasons when he is inactive, the Cowboys test gets no easier with Philip Rivers at QB throwing to a healthy Keenan Allen, and sneaky athletic Hunter Henry at TE, who averages 13.2 yards per reception.
If Dallas wants to see the light of the day, they need to take advantage of the Chargers, by finding their identity again. Controlling the game clock through the running game, with Dak easing his TOs by taking what the defense gives him, will keep that offense off the field way less than what it needs to be. Ranking dead last against the run, even though Tyron and La’El remain questionable, Dallas found some success in the previous week against the Eagles, who boasted the best run defense in the league, and will need to again to advance to 6-5.