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Chargers Fall to Cowboys, 20-17


The Los Angeles Chargers fell to the Dallas Cowboys, 20-17, in Week 2 of the 2021 season.

First quarter

The Chargers won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, so QB Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense were up first. Dallas got to midfield where they went for it on 4th-and-1, but a defensive pass interference penalty on the Chargers moved the chains for the Cowboys and kept their opening drive alive. The penalty loomed large as the Cowboys scored first off a touchdown run by Tony Pollard and a 7-0 lead.

A promising drive off chunk plays ended quickly for the Chargers after cornerback Trevon Diggs picked off QB Justin Herbert; however, picks were traded as CB Asante Samuel Jr. picked off Prescott for the first interception of his career.

The INT led to points as Tristan Vizcaino kicked a 46-yard field goal to make it 7-3 Cowboys.

Later on, a five-yard touchdown run by Ezekiel Elliott made it 14-3, Cowboys.

Kenneth Murray Jr. exited early in the first quarter but ended up returning to the game.

Second Quarter

The Chargers started the second quarter on their own 41-yard line. On 3rd-and-11, Herbert connected with tight end Jared Cook for a 12-yard completion giving the Chargers another first down on that drive. The Chargers' success on third down carried over from last weekend as Herbert connected with Mike Williams for a 27-yard pass up the middle, bringing the Chargers to the Dallas 12-yard-line.

The very next play the Chargers scored their first touchdown on the day as Herbert found Williams again for a 12-yard touchdown pass, the touchdown capped off a 10-play, 75-yard drive by the Bolts. Austin Ekeler converted the two-point conversion with a run up the middle to make it 14-11, Dallas.

The Cowboys were able to march into Chargers' territory on their next drive, but the Bolts' forced a turnover on downs as Samuel Jr. broke up a pass intended for Amari Cooper on 4th-and-5. The Chargers were forced to punt the ball at the two-minute warning, however, Dallas was called for a roughing the kicker penalty that kept the ball in the Chargers' hands in Dallas territory.

Vizcaino missed the 44-yard field goal attempt with three seconds left in the half, Dallas was stopped on their next drive as time expired in the second quarter. The Chargers went into the locker room at halftime trailing 14-11.

Third Quarter

The Chargers got the ball to start the second half on their own 25-yard line. Herbert fired deep down the field to find Allen for a 42-yard gain through the air. A few plays later, the Chargers tied the game up at 14 with a 33-yard field goal from Vizcaino.

On the Cowboy's ensuing possession, Jerry Tillery and Derwin James came together to sack Prescott for a 10-yard loss which forced Dallas to punt the ball away. The Chargers had a 36-yard touchdown pass to Donald Parham Jr. called back on a holding penalty. A few plays later, Herbert's pass was intercepted in the end zone by Damontae Kazee. The Cowboys ended the third quarter with a 28-yard rush from Pollard.

Fourth Quarter

After not scoring in the second and third quarter, the Cowboys got on the board to start the fourth with a 34-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein. The field goal made it 17-14 Dallas, after the 10-play 64-yard drive put together by the Cowboys.

The Chargers answered by marching all the way down to the Cowboys' two-yard-line. Herbert connected with Cook in the end zone, but the score was called off due to an illegal shift on the Chargers. Four plays later, the Bolts had to settle for a field goal, but tied the game at 17-17 following a 29-yard field goal from Vizcaino, his third field goal on the day.

With just under four minutes to play in the game, the Cowboys put together a drive that got to the Chargers' 38-yard-line. With four seconds left, Zuerlein hit a 56-yard field goal to give the Cowboys a 20-17 win.

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