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Forcing The Issue

the field position. Without that fumble and return, the Cowboys don't score at all in the first half and we're spending all week (aside from just half the week) talking about the offensive struggles.

I thought Church was showing up even before the return. He had to go in there when Sensabaugh went down and made a touchdown-saving tackle on the goal line. He also made a nice tackle in the open field, just a few snaps before his fumble recovery.

"I thought he played real well tonight," Maxie said of Church. "He's a guy who understands what we're doing. For a young guy to come in like he did, I thought he played well."

And they didn't just play well, but they played a lot. They had to.

"I'm Ok now," McCray said just before he boarded a bus to head back to Oxnard. "But if you had asked me when we were leaving the field, I was exhausted. But it was good to play a lot."

Now, let's also point out that McCray had some issues, too. On defense, he's got some rough edges. Head coach Wade Phillips said McCray was the primary culprit in a 56-yard Chargers reception in the third quarter.

But Phillips did point out McCray's play in run support.

"I really thought both the young safeties came in and did some good things," Phillips said. "They had some rookie mistakes. Overall, I thought they did well."

And let's not overlook Owusu-Ansah either. He played the majority of the game, too and also returned punts and kickoffs. More than anything, he showed up like a rookie, too. He fumbled one kickoff and then showed some really nice burst on a punt return later in the game.

But of course, there is a big difference between Owusu-Ansah and the other two. Draft picks, especially fourth-rounders, don't need to show a whole lot - just something. Rookie free agents need to show a ton - and McCray and Church did just that Saturday night.

If anything, they showed enough to make this thing very interesting.

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