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10 Insights: Eyes on First-Round Rookies This Sunday at SoFi Stadium


Below are 10 quick-hitting insights ahead of the Chargers' home opener against the Dallas Cowboys:

1) Sunday marks the first home game for the Chargers at SoFi Stadium with fans in the stands. Los Angeles will play three of its next four games in Inglewood (vs. Dallas, at Kansas City, vs. Las Vegas, vs. Cleveland).

2) The last time the Chargers played the Cowboys was on Thanksgiving Day in 2017. Los Angeles won 30-6 behind 11 catches for 172 yards and a touchdown by wide receiver Keenan Allen. It's the second-most receiving yards he's had in an NFL game. Allen is coming off his 28th career 100-yard game last Sunday in Washington.

3) Last week, quarterbacks Dak Prescott and Justin Herbert combined to go 73-of-105 for 740 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Prescott led the NFL in completions and attempts in Week 1, and was second in passing yards. Herbert was tied with Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes for sixth in passing yards with 337 during the opening weekend.

4) Outside linebacker Joey Bosa and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott were teammates – and roommates – at Ohio State. They played together from 2013-15. In the 2016 NFL Draft, Bosa was selected No. 3 overall. Elliott was selected No. 4 overall. Center Corey Linsley was also college teammates with Bosa and Elliott during the 2013 season.

5) More connections: Linsley will reunite with Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, who coached both players in Green Bay. Chargers linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. and Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb were college teammates at Oklahoma from 2017-19. Murray Jr. led Los Angeles with nine total tackles in Week 1. Lamb had seven receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown on opening night against the Buccaneers.

6) Sunday will also feature two top rookies selected at No. 12 and No. 13 overall, respectively. Dallas linebacker Micah Parsons had seven total tackles, a quarterback hit and a pass defended while playing 51 defensive snaps in Week 1 against Tampa Bay. Offensive tackle Rashawn Slater played all 81 snaps Sunday in Washington. Per Pro Football Focus, Slater had 49 pass-blocking snaps and allowed zero pressures.

7) Wide receiver Jalen Guyton scored a 69-yard preseason touchdown as a member of the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. The Allen, TX native played his final two seasons of college ball at North Texas, catching 103 passes for 1,580 yards and 15 touchdowns. Guyton had three receptions for 49 yards in Week 1 against Washington.

8) Head coach Brandon Staley has familiarity with this week's opponent. The Rams opened Week 1 of the 2020 season at SoFi Stadium against the Cowboys. Dallas had 380 total yards and was held to 3-of-12 on third down in a 20-17 Rams win with Staley as the defensive coordinator.

9) The Chargers are seeking their first 2-0 start since the 2012 season. That year, they opened with wins at the Raiders (22-14) and against the Titans (38-10).

10) This will be the 12th all-time meeting between the Chargers and Cowboys. Dallas leads the series 6-5, but the Bolts have won the last three meetings and four of the last five.

Check out the best photos from Chargers Thursday practice at Hoag Performance Center.


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