Week 12 Preview: Cowboys vs Chargers

Here we go on a short week for the Cowboys. After a tough fought game against the Eagles, the Cowboys turn around and face a interesting Chargers team. They might not have the crowd’s they are used to having in San Diego, but they are starting to click well.

The Los Angeles Chargers are coming off a big win against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. It was an impressive collective performance on all ends for the Chargers. The defense was stout forcing 5 interceptions, and the offense moved the ball efficiently. Not only is LA competitive, they are actually a decent team.

Offense

Los Angeles has historically been known to have a high octane offense. Currently though they rank 22nd in overall offense. So times have changed in that regard. Over the years, Rivers has had several weapons and this year is no different. From LT, Jackson, Gates, and so on, Rivers now has Gordon, still has Gates, and has Allen.

Dallas on the other end is going to be without Elliott for a 3rd straight game and possible Tyron Smith. Offensively they are ranked in the middle of the league in total yardage. Prescott has been efficient for a second straight year, and has a solid core of wide receivers and backs.

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Defense

Joey Bosa leads the Los Angeles defense with 10.5 sacks and is becoming a good force. Tre Boston and Casey Hayward have a combined 7 interceptions and are dangerous in the secondary. Los Angeles holds a +7 turnover ratio which is very good.

Dallas has been working on their defense and it is starting to look better each week. Without Sean Lee you can usually see them struggle, but the youth is exciting to see develop and grow. Demarcus Lawrence leads the defense here with 11.5 sacks, but the team has had problems forcing turnovers. They have multiple players with 1 interception but nowhere near the turnover count forced by Los Angeles.

Special Teams

This is where Dallas is glaringly more solid than Los Angeles in one specific area, place kicking. The Cowboys have done a good job finding a replacement for Dan Bailey the past couple of weeks. The Chargers on the other hand have had a tough time finding a decent kicker for a few years. When it comes to punts, Dallas has had more inside the 20 vs Los Angeles and have punted less. The Chargers do have a punt return for a touchdown while the Cowboys do not. Dallas though averages more yards per kick return, just a few yards less per punt return.

Overall

If Tyron Smith plays Dallas has a solid chance to win this. Both teams are in crucial games for not only division possibilities, but wildcard chances. Dallas should beat the Chargers this week on a short week for a few reasons. First, the Cowboys are better on 3rd down. They are also do a great job holding the ball longer and have a better more efficient offense.

My Prediction: Dallas wins this one 34-28

Statistical source: NFL.com