ARLINGTON, Texas– What started out as a close game turned ugly in the second half. The Chargers had plenty of big plays, including a backbreaking interception return for a score that sealed the deal in this 28-6 Thanksgiving Day loss.
But all games have those plays that can get lost in the shuffle, but still play a huge part in the final outcome. Check out the five from this game that turned the tide.
Near Pick For Jourdan Lewis –The sun that beams through AT&T Stadium should be a problem for both teams, but it seems to be a problem for the Cowboys more than anyone. It bit them once again in the second quarter when cornerback Jourdan Lewis had an interception right in his hands but didn't make the play. The sun likely served as a problem for Lewis, who dropped Philip Rivers' pass over the middle. Instead of it being the Cowboys' ball around midfield, the Chargers kept the drive alive and picked up a first down on a fourth-down pass interference call. Los Angeles marched for a field goal to grab a 3-0 lead.
Williams Flagged For Offensive PI – The Cowboys tried to tie the game before halftime, and a first-down pass to Terrance Williams for six yards had them in Chargers territory. But Williams was called for a push-off, resulting in offensive pass interference. The 10-yard penalty pushed Dallas back to its 36. From there, the offense only picked up a pair of short passes and were forced to punt, finishing the half 3-0. Without that questionable penalty, the Cowboys needed only about 10-12 more yards to get into Bailey's range for a field goal attempt.
Ekeler Sneaks Out For Big Gain – On the first series of the third quarter, the Chargers schemed their players open for some big gains. On third-and-2 from their own 42, the Chargers got running back Austin Ekeler out wide against linebacker Justin Durant. It didn't take long for him to run wide open for a 38-yard gain to the Cowboys' 20. From there, the Chargers scored the game's first touchdown for a 9-0 lead.
Holding Call on Smith a Double-Whammy – Everyone remembers the holding call Tyron Smith was hit with that negated Dak Prescott's 34-yard touchdown run that would've trimmed the score to 9-7 midway through the third. But the penalty did more than take off a touchdown. The 10-yard setback turned third-and-3 into third-and-13 from the Chargers 44, resulting in an incomplete pass. Even if the Cowboys had been stopped without the flag, a field-goal attempt to get on the board likely would've occurred.
Dez Couldn't Convert Deep Pass – After the Chargers scored early in the fourth to take the 22-6 lead, the Cowboys were back on the move, thanks to the long ball. But a deep pass from Dak Prescott to Dez Bryant down the left sideline nearly led to a score. However, Dez couldn't corral the ball on what would've been a great catch. Moments later, Dak was picked off by Desmond King for a 90-yard interception return that sealed the Cowboys' fate.