For the second consecutive week the Dallas Cowboys hit the road, this time to take on the Los Angeles Chargers in primetime on Monday Night Football. While this may not be one of those "must win" scenarios, it is a game that is extremely important as far as the psychology of this team is concerned.
You could tell from body language last week against the San Francisco 49ers that a lot of the Dallas Cowboys players are frustrated. Another loss could be detrimental to their mental well-being moving forward. That's especially true considering the extra time things could stew with the bye week coming up.
To avoid the upset, we've decided to identify and discuss a few key matchups that could help sway this game in the Dallas Cowboys favor if things go as planned. If the Cowboys win these matchups, they should be able to head into their bye week as a much more confident team by putting another game in the win column.
Cowboys' DC Dan Quinn vs. Chargers' OC Kellen Moore
Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore are former colleagues who will now be trying to get the better of the other in a game that matters instead of just in practice. The familiarity between these two makes this a matchup one to keep an eye on. Quinn not only will be trying to get his defense to rebound after getting dominated by the 49ers, but will have to do it without his signal caller, Leighton Vander Esch. As for Moore, you can bet he'll be looking for a little bit of revenge against his former team and will more than likely try to replicate some of the things Kyle Shanahan was successful with as a play-caller last week against the Cowboys.
Cowboys' WR CeeDee Lamb vs. Chargers' secondary
The Dak Prescott to CeeDee Lamb connection hasn’t really formulated so far this season. Fortunately for both of them, this Week 6 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers could be the perfect opportunity for these two to hook up early and often. The Chargers are currently the 32nd ranked passing defense in the league allowing 299.8 yards per game. Dallas may be just the 20th-ranked passing offense right now, however, this is a matchup that sways heavily in their favor. And, with a touchdown pass Monday night, Dak will have thrown a TD against all 31 teams. Maybe No. 88 can be the beneficiary.
Cowboys' LB/DE Micah Parsons vs. Chargers' OL
With Leighton Vander Esch sidelined with a neck strain for the foreseeable future, Micah Parsons might have to perform more off-ball linebacker reps than usual this week against the Chargers. His defensive role may change a bit this week, but he is still someone the Chargers entire offensive line has to account for down after down, because even when he plays as an off-ball LB he can be a difference maker. This could actually make things a little more difficult for LAC's offensive line as far as setting up pre-snap blocking assignments is concerned. It will be interesting to see how much Dan Quinn uses Parsons off the ball this week.