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Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Chargers – Key Battles, Preview & Predictions
The 2nd game Sunday has Dak Prescott lead “America’s Team” into the ultra impressive SoFi Stadium to take on the Chargers. The ‘Boys are coming off a heartbreaking game in the league opener vs the defending SuperBowl Champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers where they somehow managed to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory. While the performance was admirable, The Cowboys have been threatening to contend for far too long without delivering, so moral victories are worthless at this point. They play the Chargers, who themselves have long been a team who seem to be geared up to have a good go at challenging but without ever managing to do it. The hope is high that Justin Herbert is the guy to lead them to that next level and he is coming off an outstanding rookie campaign. They are looking to add a 2nd straight win to start the season after overcoming Washington last week.
Ezekiel Elliott vs The shell of Ezekiel Elliott: While Dak Prescott had what was by far his most impressive showing in his Cowboys career, being asked to throw the ball 58 times is not sustainable over the course of a season if Dallas are to have any success. He needs Ezekiel Elliott, the old Ezekiel Elliott, back to strike fear into opposing defenses. We were all told he had trimmed down, and he does look in much better shape this year, but struggled to get anything going again last week. Granted Against that Tampa defensive front, there is no shame in that. But he really needs to step up this week.
Dan Quinn’s Defense vs Herbert and Co.: As a defensive co-ordinator in Seattle, Quinn oversaw one of the most fearsome secondary’s the NFL has ever seen in the Legion of Boom. This Cowboys secondary are a far cry from what he had at Seattle and are in need of real leadership if they are to even be a reliable unit. The Chargers will look to test them out as much as they can and if the Cowboys aren’t up to it, it could be another embarrassing night for Jerry Jones’ product.
Chargers Defense vs Dak’s All Stars: Equally on the other side of the ball, this Cowboys offense is absolutely loaded with weapons. While I mentioned having to pass the ball 58 times isn’t a recipe for consistent success, having a receiver corps boasting the likes of Cooper, Lamb and Gallop is a frightening prospect when they do go to the air. The Chargers are also without the experienced Chris Harris at corner and have their work cut out for them to keep Dak from firing bombs at will.
Moneyline: Dallas 11/8 Los Angeles 6/10
Spread: Los Angeles -3
23/10 for both Herbert and Dak to throw for 300+ yards seems to be too good to be true. Prescott is also 11/1 to have 2 passing TD’s in each half. Given Mike McCarthy’s love of passing the ball, that’s excellent value.
I’d lean heavily on there being more than 55 points here too.
Both these teams are in the ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ bracket as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have a lot of trust in either. I have long been a doubter of Dak Prescott’s ability to elevate the Cowboys, and while the Buccs game was his best by a country mile, I need to see him do that more consistently before I change my tune. Chargers flatter to deceive nearly every year too, especially with their inability to stay clear of crippling injury issues. This is really a toss up. I’ll take the Cowboys to do what they do best and find a way to lose. Chargers by 4