Week 2 of NFL preseason, Chargers vs Cowboys.
The Chargers and the Cowboys kicked off the second preseason game festivities by holding two sessions of joint practices for season ticket holders. The Chargers all-time preseason record vs. Dallas is 9-7, and 8-6 when playing them at home.
We saw both promising, and not-so-good moments in the previous week vs. the Rams. In the Promising column: good special teams play, Isiah Spiller's explosive debut and Easton Stick's dynamic 2nd half quarterbacking. In the Not-So-Good: multiple pass interference penalties extending drives, killing positive defensive momentum and setting up the Rams for easy scoring.
In week 2, it was time to see what changed, what stayed the same, and whether we'd be treated to new moments of greatness.
After Easton Stick looked promising against the Rams, on the first drive against the Cowboys, Stick overthrew a pass deep left for his intended receiver Josh Palmer.
The ball would fall into the hands of Israel Mukuamu. The Chargers defense would get the stop and Easton Stick would rebound on a 46 yard completion to Josh Palmer. While Stick under threw the ball, Palmer made a great catch with a defender all over him. The drive resulted in a Dustin Hopkins 22 yard field goal and a 3-0 lead for the Chargers.
After a good showing by the Chargers special teams last week, they gave up a big play: KaVontae Turpin returned a 98 yard kickoff for a touchdown, giving Dallas a 3-7 lead.
The following drive, the Chargers' defense struggled against the run. Cowboys Rico Dowdle ran through the Chargers defense and capped off a 12 play 69-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. The Cowboys went for the 2 point conversion for a 15-10 lead.
The Cowboys scored again on special teams when KaVonte Turpin fielded a punt with Deane Leonard on approach. Instead of closing the gap, Leonard hesitated, giving Turpin enough room to make him miss and becoming a foot race with the punter. Turpin’s return resulted in 86 yards for his 2nd touchdown and a 22-10 Cowboys lead.
On the first play of the following Chargers drive, Ryan Hunter was beaten by Trysten Hill who then stripped Easton Stick of the ball and recovered the fumble at the Chargers 15-yard line. The Cowboys would punch it in with a Malik Davis touchdown run, leaving the Chargers to trail 10-29 at halftime.
For the second half, Chase Daniels replaced Easton Stick at the quarterback position. Both teams started the 3rd quarter by exchanging punts.
The Chargers would finally get some momentum during their second drive of the half. The Chargers would drive down to the Dallas 26 but faced a 4th down. The Chargers would go for it and miss, ending their 13 play, 54-yard drive that took 7:20 off the clock. The score remained 29-10 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
The Cowboys added a field goal on their next drive after running the ball on the Chargers again. It was apparent the Chargers depth chart struggled to stop the run.
The Cowboys attempted a 61-yard field goal half-way through the 4th quarter, but it was no good.