(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: Monday Night Football rolled into Los Angeles and came to SoFi Stadium for the Week #6 match-up between the Dallas Cowboys (3-2) and the Los Angeles Chargers, (2-2), coming back after their “Bye” week.
[PRE-GAME SUMMARY]: Of note, declared “In” and ready to play was running back, #30 Austin Ekeler. Declared “Out” for the Chargers were: Alohi Gilman, Deane Leonard, Elijah Dotson, Zack Bailey, Simi Fehoko, and Christopher Hinton.
[1st Qtr]: The Chargers won the “coin-toss” and elected to defer. The Cowboys punted on their first possession with a “3 and-out.” Unexpectedly, anchoring front four defensive lineman, #51 Sebastian Joseph-Day, was injured on the opening play. He was removed from the game and taken in for medical attention. The Bolts on their first possession drove quickly downfield for a score at the (10:34) minute mark, scoring on a short 1 yard TD pass from QB Dustin Herbert to his favorite wide receiver, #13 Keenan Allen. This was followed by a successful Point-After-Touchdown (PAT) kick from Cameron Dicker, moving the scoreboard to (7-0) Bolts. Dallas responded at the (6:26) mark on their second possession when #4 QB, Dak Prescott, scored on an untouched open field 18 yard keeper, going off his right tackle, then straight upfield for the rushing TD, and tying the game at (7-7).
[Photo Gallery Courtesy]: Los Angeles Chargers
[2nd Qtr]: The game flow went “back-and-forth” with punts coming from both teams and no serious scoring threats until very late in the stanza. With (00:41) seconds left, the Cowboys capitalized on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Derwin James, Jr. after a 15 yard catch by #87 Jake Ferguson. That line of scrimmage was at the Chargers 47. The officials then marked a 1st & 10 for the Cowboys at the Chargers 17 yard line. A play later, QB Prescott hit his running back, #20 Tony Pollard for a short gainer and this placed the line of scrimmage at the 15 yard line. Then with just (00:03) seconds left in the half, Kicker, #17 Brandon Aubrey, was summoned into the game to kick a field goal from 32 yards. He was good for a (10-7) Cowboys lead as the teams went into their locker rooms at halftime.
[HALFTIME SCORE]: Dallas 10 Chargers 7
3rd Qtr]: The Bolts received the “kick-off” looking to re-generate some more momentum, score their second TD of the game, and retake the lead. Their possession went far down the field to the Cowboys 7 yard line but they could not punch it in on a 4th and 1 play, and thus turned the ball over to Dallas. The Cowboys suffered another “3 & out” as they faced the Bolts defense that was fired up. The Bolts got a very decent 12 yard return by #12 Darius Davis, to place the ball at the Cowboys 49. The Chargers then moved the chains on a timely basis and got their Kicker, Dicker into his comfort zone for a field goal attempt from 24 yards out. It was good to tie the game at (10-10). as time had run out in the quarter.
[4th Qtr]: Dallas was playing a very impressive and winning game for their many thousands of fans present, when they made a gigantic first play of the quarter from their line of scrimmage at the 25. It was a huge 60 yard pass play over the middle to running back, #20 Tony Pollard, who then broke a tackle at his 40 and sprinted down to the Bolts 16 yard line before being tackled from behind, saving a touchdown.
Then, at the (11:26) mark, from the Bolts 2 yard line, Prescott threw a short TD to wide-out, #3 Brandon Cooks, making it Cowboys, (17-10). The Chargers offense then came to life after they were awarded a “muffed” punt by #37 Eric Scott at the Bolts 21 yard line. The Chargers finally got some good luck and good fortune when the Cowboys punt returned was muffed and recovered by #57 Amen Ogbongbemiga putting the ball at the Chargers 20 yard line. This caused “Mr. Momentum” to appear on the Bolts side. They then managed to score at the (7:11) mark when Herbert found Tight End, #7 Gerald Everett wide open on a 1 yard TD pass. He simply drifted into the secondary, uncovered and hauled it in. Dicker tied it at (17-17) with his PAT.
Dallas picked up a little luck on their ensuing possession when penalties in their favor helped them to maintain it. Prescott subsequently completed a targeted pass to Cee Dee Lamb #88, down to the Chargers 35. The next short pass play was put under review on a challenge by Chargers Head Coach, Brandon Staley. It was successful and the Bolts were not charged a Time-out. Prescott then completed another pass to Lamb down to the Chargers 21 for a “1st & 10” with (2:44) left. They would have to settle for another Aubrey field goal from 39 yards out to go up by three, (20-17).
The Chargers then took over at their own 25, made positive yardage on 2 plays before they would start their (2:00) minute drill package. However when play resumed, the offensive line allowed too much seepage and pressure and Herbert was sacked for an 8 yard loss. On his next snap and pass attempt, at the (1:29) mark, it resulted in an interception by #21 Stephon Gilmore. The ball was placed at the Bolts 33 for the Cowboys’ two-play victory formation that ended this very close and up-for-grabs game.
[FINAL SCORE]: Dallas Cowboys 20 L.A. Chargers 17