The Cowboys’ second “get right” game comes with another reunion.
The Cowboys need a bounce-back performance in the worst way after getting thumped by the 49ers last Sunday night.
While the extra day might help some, especially dealing with some injuries, the Cowboys are facing a Chargers team that has had plenty of rest, coming off their bye week.
At 2-2, the Chargers are looking for a third straight win and should have some key players coming back to the lineup.
1. Facing Kellen Moore – As soon as Kellen Moore joined the Chargers, we knew this moment would happen at some point. Sure enough, the NFL put these two teams on Monday Night Football as the Cowboys will play their former OC in Moore, who is the play-caller with the Chargers. A former NFL quarterback who started three games for the Cowboys in 2015, Moore was a teammate of Dak, his quarterback coach and later the OC in Dallas before parting ways with the Cowboys this offseason as Mike McCarthy decided to take over the play-calling duties. Currently, the Chargers rank No. 5 in the NFL in total offense while the Cowboys are 17th.
1. Can this team bounce back again? – We thought a 12-point loss to the Cardinals in Week 3 was bad – and it was. But after it seemed as if they had dusted themselves off with a huge win over the Patriots, the Cowboys were smacked back down to Earth again by the 49ers, who dominated in every way, 42-10. The Cowboys are 10-1 following their last 11 losses and average over 35 points per game. So let’s see if history repeats itself.
‘No Finger-Pointing!’ On Dallas Cowboys Defense After 49ers Blowout, Vows Coach Dan Quinn - Adam Schultz, Sports Illustrated
The Cowboys defense isn’t looking to place blame on anyone but themselves.
But after the 42-10 loss at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, it has left many wondering exactly how good this defense really is. After such a poor performance against the Niners, it would be easy to point the finger at each other instead of focusing on your own individual performance.
But coordinator Quinn and his unit aren’t playing the blame game.
“There’s no finger-pointing with our group,” Quinn said. “In fact, the fingers are being pointed in the direction that they need to — ‘let’s work on this, let’s work on that.’ I admire that about our group. I’ve been on other teams where there was finger-pointing and blame, but that’s not this group.
“Extremely disappointed, but I also know what we’re made of, and we’re not gonna let this game beat us twice.”
For now, Dallas has to stew on that horrorshow in Santa Clara, and one would hope that the mental and physical toll of the game doesn’t linger when they face the Los Angeles Chargers and Kellen Moore on Monday night. …
Because as brutal as the assessments have been after Sunday night, one can only imagine what they will be like should the Cowboys produce another stinker on national television.
The Cowboys will likely see one of the Chargers’ most dynamic weapons back on the field.
Monday’s game would be Ekeler’s first since suffering a high right ankle sprain in the Chargers’ Week 1 loss to the Dolphins. With no official team injury report Tuesday, Ekeler told reporters he was a full participant in practice, and he went through it without the ankle brace he had been sporting on his right ankle.
Ekeler caught passes, made juke moves and ran at full speed during the period of practice open to the media. He began working off to the side with running backs coach Derrick Foster before joining the rest of the running back group in individual drills.
In Week 4, Ekeler returned to practice for the first time since the injury. He said if Week 4 was the Chargers’ final game of the season and they needed him to play, he could have, but using the Week 5 bye week to recover made the most sense.
“I feel good. I feel really good. I felt like I probably could’ve played during the bye week if I had a game then,” Ekeler said. “... It’s taken a little to get back just to being around football, reactive stuff, things like that. But it’s something that we’ll work into this week and be ready to go.”
The Chargers may also be using the Moore reunion to their advantage.
Everyone will be hungry for this one.
As mentioned above, the Bolts will be looking to stay hot and prove themselves in front of a nationally-televised audience against one of the league’s most notable teams.
And the Cowboys will certainly be motivated given how their Week 5 game against the 49ers ended up.
But if you’re looking for the storyline I’m most interested in, it’s definitely Kellen Moore against his former team.
We’ve touched on this before, but I think it bears repeating here: the fact that Moore was available after such a successful run in Dallas was a bit stunning. And it was a gift the Chargers pounced on right away by hiring him in essentially less than 24 hours.
So yeah, I’m fascinated to see what Moore has up his sleeve against his former team. Remember that while the Chargers Offensive Coordinator knows the Dallas offensive skill players well, he also went against Dan Quinn’s defense every day in practice and might know a few secrets there, too.
Add in that the Chargers are coming off the bye and will have had two weeks to prepare, I think we could see a dazzling performance from the offense on Monday night.
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