Last week was a heartbreaking loss for the Dallas Cowboys as they had the defending champions on the ropes but just couldn't finish them off. This week they will look to bounce back against a Chargers team that pulled out a tough win against a very good Washington Football Team defense. This is not a team that the Cowboys can afford to take for granted as they have very good players on both sides of the football that are able to affect the game in different ways. It’s going to be another good game for the Cowboys, we just have to hope that the losses of certain players don’t hurt this team too much this week.
With that being said let’s take a look at what the Cowboys will be going up against in this week's opponent preview.
Los Angeles Chargers
2020 Record: 7-9
Last Meeting: 11/23/2017 Chargers 28, Cowboys 6
Head Coach: Brandon Staley
Key Additions: C Corey Linsley, G Matt Feiler, TE Jared Cook,
Key Losses: TE Hunter Henry, OLB Melvin Ingram,
Biggest offensive strengths and weaknesses
The Charger's offense is built similar to how the Cowboys have theirs with a few different aspects to their game. Instead of the physical runner the Cowboys have in Ezekiel Elliott, the Chargers have the smaller yet more elusive Austin Ekeler who for his career has averaged 4.7 yards per carry. He will provide a very different problem for the Cowboys than they saw last week in the more physical running from Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones. To add to their problems the Cowboys will have to stop an offense that certainly likes to throw the football and have the quarterback and weapons on the outside to do it.
Quarterback Justin Herbert has come into the league and impressed everyone with his arm strength and command of his offense. He’s also formed a very strong connection with their star receiver Keenan Allen who is able to line up all over the field in order to create matchup issues and Mike Williams whose size will be a problem in the red zone. If the Cowboys can force Herbert to short gains and put the ball in Ekeler’s hands they can pull out a win.
If the Cowboys are looking for a weakness to exploit it might be attacking the right side of that Chargers offensive line. Last week starter Bryan Bulaga left their week one game early with a back injury and that has now put into question his availability for week two. If he’s unable to go then look for Dan Quinn to attack that side and backup Storm Norton. Get enough pressure on Herbert and they can slow down their passing attack.
Biggest defensive strengths and weaknesses
Unfortunately for the Cowboys their starting right tackle La’el Collins looks unlikely to play this week after many have held out hope to overturn his suspension. But what is bad for the Cowboys is very good for the Chargers as their best pass rusher Joey Bosa lives on that side of the line. Bosa is going to be one of the biggest challenges for the Cowboys offense as they will need to keep him in check in order to give Dak Prescott time in the pocket to pick apart this secondary. Bosa is also good in the running game as well so the return of Zack Martin to help either Ty Nsekhe or Terence Steele is a blessing for this game.
As for a weakness on this defense, the Cowboys could look to a completely different game plan this week to attack the Chargers. Last week they avoided the Buccaneers interior defensive line and did not really run the ball, this week the Cowboys might decide to attack this defense with the ground and pound. The Chargers gave up 126 yards on the ground last week and an average of 4.7 yards per attempt, the majority of which came from WFT running back Antonio Gibson. The Cowboys have two running backs that are ready to get their season really started and this just might be the week they unleash them.