Who wants 30 factors to win? Not your Dallas Cowboys.
In defeating the Los Angeles Chargers, 20-17, the Cowboys moved to 1-1 on the season and broke a streak of 34 straight video games of solely profitable after they topped 30 factors. It marked the primary time to take action since a 27-20 victory over Tampa Bay on Dec. 23, 2018.
However give the Cowboys protection some credit score. Though helped by 12 Los Angeles penalties, Dallas’ bend-but-don’t-break unit did sufficient to provide Dak Prescott and the offense an opportunity to tug out the win.
And that is precisely what they had been capable of do, Greg Zuerlein splitting the uprights from 56 yards away because the clock hit zeroes to provide the Cowboys the inconceivable win.
The Dallas protection allowed 408 yards of offense, however the Chargers reached the tip zone on solely one among 4 journeys into the purple zone. Dallas additionally had two interceptions with two sacks and 9 quarterback pressures. Rookie linebacker Micah Parsons, lining up as a move rusher, recorded one sack and 4 pressures on his personal.
The was adequate for the Cowboys offense, which scored on two of three purple zone journeys, transformed 60 % of its third down possibilities and totaled 419 yards of offense. Prescott accomplished 85.2 % of his passes for 237 yards and one interception, however he did not want to hold the group this week. As an alternative, the Cowboys racked up 198 dashing yards, led by Tony Pollard’s 109 and Ezekiel Elliott’s 71. Each additionally had 31 and 26 receiving yards, respectively.
The Cowboys actually could not have gotten off to a greater begin, as they completed the primary quarter-hour of the sport having a punched in a pair of touchdowns. The primary got here on the opening drive, which broke a streak of 20 straight video games with out doing so.
And it was a wholesome combine within the 15-play, 78-yard drive with Elliott operating the ball six occasions whereas Prescott accomplished 5 or 6 passes for 46 yards. Pollard completed issues off together with his third carry of the collection, a sweep round the appropriate finish to the purpose line.
After each side traded interceptions – cornerback Trevon Diggs changing into the primary Cowboys defender to file picks within the group’s first two video games of the season since Lee Roy Jordan did so in 1975 – the Chargers received on the board with a 46-yard area purpose.
However Dallas responded with one other spectacular possession. Pollard first received the decision with three straight touches for 34 yards. That was then adopted by CeeDee Lamb hauling in three consecutive catches for 36 of his personal. Elliott received the scoring honors, although, driving behind proper guard Zack Martin the ultimate 5 yards for a 14-3 lead after one interval of play.
Dallas completed with 13 first downs within the opening quarter, a group file that additionally tied the NFL mark.
Nonetheless, the benefit was narrowed early within the second quarter. Regardless of the Chargers committing 4 penalties on their subsequent possession and having to face a third-and 11 after which a third-and-13, they had been capable of preserve the drive alive and attain the tip zone. A Justin Herbert landing move to wideout Mike Williams adopted by a two-point conversion introduced Los Angeles to inside three.
Dallas then narrowly averted going into the half with the sport tied. First, a questionable resolution to hurry the punter when the Chargers had been booting the ball away on fourth-and-20 with solely 2 minutes remaining resulted in a roughing the kicker penalty on the Cowboys. Given the reward, Herbert then received his group into area purpose vary, solely to see a 44-yard try fail.
The Cowboys practically scored with slightly razzle dazzle on the final play of the half when Prescott discovered Lamb over the center, the receiver taking it 34 yards after which lateraling the ball to Elliott, who made it to the Chargers’ 3-yard line earlier than being pushed out of bounds.
The tie got here quickly sufficient. On their first possession of the third quarter, the Chargers received their area purpose, a 32-yarder which gave them 11 unanswered factors. Los Angele’s effort was helped alongside when the Dallas protection allowed a 42-yard move on third-and-15, unable to get off the sphere.
However simply when it regarded just like the Chargers would lastly take the lead, the Cowboys protection got here up large. Los Angeles had marched from its personal 9-yard line all the best way all the way down to the Dallas 9. That is when security Damontae Kazee intercepted a Herbert move meant for Keenan Allen in the long run zone, ending the risk and shifting the sport’s momentum again to the guests.
Following the turnover, the Dallas offense went on the transfer because the clocked ticked over into the ultimate body. Pollard began issues off with three straight runs for a mixed 29 yards, the group ultimately working its manner all the way down to the Los Angeles 16. There the Cowboys needed to accept a 34-yard Zuerlein area purpose for the lead.
With just below 4 minutes to play, although, the rating was tied as soon as extra, 17-17. The Chargers once more moved down the sphere, touring 64 yards, however for the second time within the recreation that they had a landing nullified by a penalty, having to accept a 29-yard area purpose.
That is when offense went to work, going from its personal 13-yard line to the Chargers’ 38. However via some questionable clock administration, the group appeared prepared to accept an extended area purpose. However the plan labored, as Zuerlein was good on his 56-yard attempt as time expired, marking his tenth profession game-winning kick and the second-longest game-winner of his profession.