2022 Record: 10-7
Last Meeting: 09/19/2021 20-17 Cowboys victory (Cowboys lead all-time series 7-5)
Head Coach: Brandon Staley (21-17 as a head coach)
Key Additions: LB Eric Kendricks, WR Quentin Johnston (draft), DI Morgan Fox, OT Trey Pipkins
Key Departures: LB Drue Tranquill, ED Kyle Van Noy, CB Bryce Callahan, S Nasir Adderley
The Los Angeles Chargers finished the 2022 season with 10 wins and clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2018. It was their first playoff appearance without Philip Rivers since 1995. However, their run to the playoffs would be short-lived. After jumping out in front of the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-0 - the Chargers suffered a collapse of epic proportions as they went on to lose 31-30 in stunning fashion.
Fast forward to here and now, the Chargers are currently 2-2 and have had mixed reviews thus far through the first month of the season. Old friend Kellen Moore is the new offensive coordinator and has the offense working. The team finds themselves at the .500 mark heading into a matchup with his former team mainly on defensive issues.
Player to watch… RB, Austin Ekeler
While Austin Ekeler has been injured and has missed the previous two games, it looks like all signs are pointing toward the running back being ready to go against Dallas. Ekeler is dynamic and is not only able to beat you in the running game between the tackles, he is an excellent receiving back who is able to beat you in the passing game as well.
The Cowboys will have their hands full on Sunday with Moore calling plays. Despite his departure from Dallas, he is still a well-respected young mind in the coaching ranks. His ability to scheme a good game plan while understanding the weaknesses of this Cowboys defense, coupled with getting a key member of his offense back, will certainly be a challenge for the Cowboys on Monday night.
Look for Ekeler to get involved early and often, especially with the uncertainty of the Cowboys linebackers right now. It may be a matchup that Moore will look to exploit and will surely use the play-making running back to do so.
Don’t forget about... WR, Keenan Allen
The Dallas Cowboys will need to be very aware of Keenan Allen on Monday night. The veteran wide receiver has been thriving so far in Moore’s offense and will be a focal point for this Cowboys defense. Thus far through four games, Allen has tallied 35 receptions, 434 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. Allen got the bulk of that work in Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings when he went for 18 receptions and 215 receiving yards.
Keenan Allen on 3rd/4th downs this season:— PFF (@PFF) October 8, 2023
⚡️ 10 receptions
⚡️ 123 yards
⚡️ 2 TDs
⚡️ 8 first downs
⚡️ 152.8 rating when targeted pic.twitter.com/Tn0PhDIM0t
Without Trevon Diggs out there, things are always going to be a little harder in the secondary as a result. The last time the two teams met Diggs was able to handle Allen all evening long and essentially took the talented WR out of the game. The challenge now belongs to Stephon Gilmore and his ability to keep Allen at bay will play a huge factor in this matchup.