FRISCO, Texas –So this is the second part of your Thanksgiving Day feast, Cowboys-chargers, 3:25 p.m. at AT&T Stadium, the Cowboys trying to end a two-game losing streak and creep back over .500, and the Chargers trying to win their fifth game in the past seven and at 4-6 now inch closer to .500.
Now, there is a whole lot the Cowboys need to fix in this game, first of all their Zeke-less offense, having scored just 16 points over the past two games and only one touchdown. Not going to win that way. So hang on for your Mick Shots, during this fast-break week coming right before the game.
- Dak Knows: So when you have a three-interception game and lose one fumble, throw for just 145 yards, end up with a 30.4 QB rating and get sacked four times, inevitably someone is going to ask you if that's one of the worst games you've ever played. And, of course, not taking into account several dropped catchable balls and once again the undo pressure he was under from the Eagles pass rush. Oh, Dak knew. Took us back to 2013 when South Carolina beat Mississippi State, 34-16. "Same stat line," Dak said. Sure was, three interceptions and lost one fumble. He remembered the game for more than that reason. "Day before my mom died," he recalled.
- Sacks Of QBs: This is no way to run a successful offense. Dak has been sacked 12 times over the past two games, and no surprise, both were losses. Now here come the Chargers with defensive ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. They have combined for 19 of the Chargers' 30 sacks and 27 of their 72 tackles for losses. Two trends the Cowboys just have to reverse.
- Riverside: Let's turn this sack deal around. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers only has been sacked 12 times in 10 games, coming to an average of 1.2 sacks a game. Means he doesn't go down much with the ball in his hands. And as for the Cowboys defense, it has registered only one sack total in back-to-back games against the Falcons and Eagles – that after registering 11 during the three-game winning streak. Gotta reverse those trends, too.
- Thanksgiving Treats: It's easy to come up with your favorite Thanksgiving Day games, usually victories, right? Especially the 1974 Clint Longley game, coming off the bench for the concussed Roger Staubach to lead the Cowboys to a remarkable 24-23 victory. But as for extra entertainment, I'll never forget the 1989 Bounty Bowl, when the Eagles beat the hapless Cowboys 27-0 when the Cowboys accused the Eagles of placing bounties on the souls of Troy Aikman and kicker Luis Zendejas. And when someone asked Jimmy Johnson if he said something to Philly coach Buddy Ryan after the game, he said he would have except he wouldn't stay on the field long enough," Johnson said that day. "He got his fat rear end into the dressing room." And then there was the 1993 Sleet Bowl, when Leon Lett mistakenly slid into a blocked field goal that would have wrapped up a 14-13 Cowboys victory, only to fumble the ball back to the Dolphins who then kicked the winning field goal in the final seconds. There was so much sleet at Texas Stadium they had to rip the frozen tarp off the field.
Thanks goodness for a roof Thursday afternoon.