Dallas Cowboys Defeat Los Angeles Chargers With Last Second Field Goal


Greg Zuerlein was persona non grata last week as he missed two field goals and an extra point but made a 56-yarder as time expired against the Los Angeles Chargers for the go-ahead score and the win. The Cowboys won the game primarily due to sloppy play by the Chargers, who committed 12 penalties for 99 yards while being unable to handle the Cowboys’ defensive pass rushers. Two Chargers penalties removed points from the board, while critical penalties by the Chargers defense kept otherwise stalled drives alive.

Last week, the Cowboys went to the air to stay competitive with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but turned to Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard for ground-and-pound play to win against Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium. The two backs combined for 180 yards on the ground. Pollard and Elliott both scored touchdowns in the game.

Going into the game without either starting defensive end, the Cowboys needed outstanding performances from their defense to keep the explosive Chargers offense in check. They got the help they needed from Jayron Kearse and Trevon Diggs, who were both flying all over the field and making key plays when it mattered most.

Diggs picked off Chargers QB Justin Herbert in the first quarter, while Demontae Kazee came up with another in the third quarter that prevented the Chargers from a go-ahead score that was the difference in the game. Kearse made numerous stops, accounting for five tackles, including one for a loss.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott had a solid game, going 23 of 27 for 237 yards and an interception. Prescott was sacked twice, including once by Kyler Fackrell that resulted in a strip-sack fumble Dallas recovered.

Penalties by the Chargers were the big difference in the game. Coming into the matchup, missing both starting defensive tackles, the Cowboys were forced to move Micah Parsons from linebacker. Parsons contributed two individual tackles and a sack on QB Herbert while the entire defensive line continuously got penetration, contributing to the high number of holding calls against LA.

The Cowboys and Chargers statistically matched each other very well throughout the game. The Cowboys ran 62 plays to the Chargers 60, 419 total yards to 408 yards by the Chargers, and 25 first downs to 24 by LA. The Cowboys broke a 20-game streak by scoring a touchdown on their opening drive. The big difference was the penalties that stalled several Chargers drives and took 12 points off the board.

The game-winning drive was set up after an illegal shift penalty negated a Chargers penalty and forced a field goal. The Cowboys then drove 49 yards in 11 plays to set Zuerlein up with a 56-yard kick to win. The Cowboys punted once, and it was the only kick that counted in the game. A Chargers punt was negated when Cowboys defenders made illegal contact with the kicker.

The Cowboys are now 1-1 and will face the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football on September 27 for their home opener in Dallas.

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