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Scouting Report: Chargers vs. Cowboys

Posted Aug 7, 2014

A full breakdown of the preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys.


The Bolts are back!  The San Diego Chargers take the field for the first time this Thursday when Head Coach Mike McCoy’s squad hosts the Dallas Cowboys.  Kickoff is set for 7:00pm.

What to Watch For…

On Offense for the Chargers

Familiar faces lead the offense in Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates and Ryan Mathews, but the loudest ovation will probably be saved for Malcom Floyd.  The preseason opener marks M-80’s first game back since suffering a severe neck injury last September.  Bolts fans will also be eager to see the team’s new three-headed monster of Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown in action.

On Offense for the Cowboys

It's doubtful Tony Romo will be under center as he works his way back from back surgery, so expect to see plenty from Brandon Weeden, Caleb Hanie and Dustin Vaughan.  No matter who takes the snaps, the Cowboys have dangerous weapons in Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Terrance Williams and DeMarco Murray.

On Defense for the Chargers

Forcing turnovers has been a focal point all offseason long, so the preseason opener will be the first opportunity for Defensive Coordinator John Pagano’s unit to rise to the challenge.  The competition at cornerback and linebacker has been particularly fierce throughout training camp, so all eyes will be on who rises to the occasion on game day.

On Defense for the Cowboys

It’s no secret the Cowboys struggled defensively a year ago.  They ranked dead last in total defense, giving up the most yards in the entire league, and also ranked 30th against the pass, 27th against the run and gave up eighth most points.  Dallas retooled the defense, including the lauded selection of Demarcus Lawrence in the draft.  However, the 34th overall pick broke his foot and is expected to miss the next two months.

Series History

The Chargers and Cowboys have met 14 times in the preseason, and the series is tied 7-7. The most recent preseason meeting took place in San Diego in 2012, a game won by the Chargers, 28-20. The Bolts and Cowboys have also played 10 times in the regular season. Dallas leads the regular-season series, 6-4, but the Chargers prevailed in the last two meetings, including a 30-21 win in San Diego last September.

By the Numbers

In 2013, the Chargers ranked fifth in total offense (393.3 yards per game), fourth in passing (270.5 ypg), 13th in rushing (122.8 ypg) and 12th in points (24.8). The Cowboys ranked 16th in total offense (341.1ypg), 14th in passing (247.1 ypg), 24th in rushing (94.0 ypg) and fifth in points (27.4)

Defensively, the Bolts ranked 23rd in total defense (366.5 ypg), 29th in passing (258.7 ypg), 12th in rushing (107.8 ypg) and 11th in points allowed (21.8).  Dallas ranked 32nd in total defense (415.3 ypg), 30th in passing (286.8 ypg), 27th in rushing (128.5 ypg) and 26th in points allowed (27.0).

The Last Meeting

On Sept. 29, 2013, the Chargers defeated the Cowboys 30-21 before a capacity crowd of 68,601 at Qualcomm Stadium. The game was close early, but Dallas pulled ahead in the second quarter to lead by 11 at 21-10. The Chargers answered with a field goal before halftime and a touchdown on the opening drive of the third quarter en route to scoring 20-straight points to close out the victory. The Chargers’ defense came up with several big stops late, including a game-clinching forced fumble at the one-yard line late in the fourth quarter.

Connections

Chargers tight end John Phillips was drafted by the Cowboys in the sixth round in 2009 and played four seasons (2009-12) in Dallas.

Defensive tackle Sean Lissemore was selected by Dallas in the seventh round in 2010 and played three seasons (2010-12) for the Cowboys.

Kicker Nick Novak spent a brief time on the Cowboys’ roster in 2005.

Cornerback Steve Williams and linebacker Adrian Hamilton are Dallas natives.  Hamilton also went to training camp with the Cowboys in 2012.

Cowboys with ties to Southern California include tight end Gavin Escobar (Orange County, Calif. and San Diego State), cornerback Orlando Scandrick (Los Alamitos, Calif.), linebackers Kevin Smith (Covina, Calif.) and Will Smith (Riverside, Calif.), and tackles Tyron Smith (USC) and Darrion Weems (Winnetka, Calif.).

Broadcast Information

CBS (KFMB, Channel 8 in San Diego and KCBS, Channel 2 in Los Angeles and Orange County) – Dan Fouts (play-by-play), Billy Ray Smith (analyst)

Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 AM (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Hank Bauer (analyst), Mike Costa (sidelines)

Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego) and KWKW 1330 AM (Los Angeles) – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Dante Lazcano (analyst)

All Chargers radio broadcasts are now being streamed live on the team’s official website, www.chargers.com. XTRA Sports 1360 broadcasts with Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Hank Bauer (analyst) will begin two hours before kickoff and continue for 90 minutes of postgame coverage after the game ends.

IMPORTANT reminders for fans attending the game:

Fans are allowed to carry the following style and size bag, package, or container at stadium plaza areas, stadium gates, or when approaching lines of fans awaiting entry into the stadium:

* Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.” (Official NFL team logo clear plastic tote bags are available through club merchandise outlets or at shop.chargers.com), or

* One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).

*Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap, may be carried into the stadium along with one of the clear bag options.

*An exception will be made for medically-necessary items after proper inspection.


Fans planning to attend the game are encouraged to arrive early and carpool or use public transportation, including the Trolley.


Fans should allow plenty of time to get into the stadium as long lines are likely due to enhanced screening procedures at the gates.
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