PRETTY GOOD THING that I started out my last preview by saying we don’t know anything yet. Little did I know how quickly that first person plural would become a delicious first person singular, to my great regret. Among the things that I said about St. Louis that a less confident man than myself might now regret, I suggested that they had a stout run defense and that their offensive line was looking pretty darn good.
Could I have known that the DeMarco Murray would rush for 50 yards more than the cumulative amount of rushing yards the Rams had allowed in the previous two games, and that Dallas would sack Bradford six times?
Yes! Yes, I could have known that. But then it’s just not fun anymore, you know?
In my defense, they hadn’t given up more than 60 yards to anyone one person so far and Bradford had not been sacked, even once, till he met the ‘Boys. And that’s good news!
It’s hard to see how the Dallas defense could have been more impressive than it was in that game, and though I still think the offense has some question marks—the Cowboys repeatedly took advantage of good field position, scoring only twice from farther away than their 39 yard line—that’s great news.
Through two games, Monte Kiffin’s brand new defense was a blood-soaked blood machine that almost lost to New York despite grabbing 97 turnovers, then couldn’t figure out a way to stop Alex Smith running for twenty yards down the center of the field every play. Then this, the biggest Cowboys win since 2011.
On Sunday, at 4:25, 3:25 central, your Dallas Cowboys take on SoCal’s San Diego Chargers. This season the Chargers’ offense is averaging 26 points to the Cowboys’ 27.7. They do it roughly in the same way the ‘Boys do, passing yards in the area of 250, rushing yards in the area of 100 and with similar breakdowns of each. So far, this season, the Chargers average a slightly worse rushing game (three fewer yards per game) and a marginally better passing game (15 more yards per game).
And that is actually true to form, believe it or not. Rivers had a down year, last year, but since they both became full-time starters in 2006, Romo has passed for 183 TDs, 92 INTs, completed 65 percent of his passes and thrown for over 26,500 yards. Rivers is at 196 TDs, 93 INTs, 63.8 completion percentage, and 28,689 yards. He has started 19 more games than Romo, but there are a lot of similarities there.
But, the ‘Boys are finally meeting a team even worse that they are at the crucial stat, pass defense. While the squad with the big blue star may be giving up 274.7 yards through the air per game, and may be doing it to the likes of Sam Bradford and Alex Smith to boot, they have nothing on the Chargers’ staggering 340.7 yards allowed through the air per game. And 130 on the ground, for good measure. If you ask me, that’ll make the difference, come Sunday.
The Chargers are a team that could easily be 0-3 right now, but they’re not too far—6 points-- from 3-0 either. It won’t be an easy game. But facing a defense that’s been torched by Matt Schaub and Jake Locker, the Cowboys have a good opportunity to fix whatever lingering offensive issues they might have and start the season with a healthy 3-1 record.
If they don’t take advantage, staring down the barrel of a matchup with Peyton “Cut that meat” Manning, they will very probably live to regret it.