Missing Key Starters, Defense Struggles With Chargers' Attack


Had the Cowboys' defense not come up with two goal-line stops, one that resulted in a fumble recovery in the end zone and another that led to a field goal, San Diego likely would've had 10 more points.

"In general, San Diego was able to move the ball too easily on us," head coach Jason Garrett said. "A couple of times we made some stops down there. They run the ball on us and threw the ball very effectively. For the most part, we didn't make enough stops on defense and hopefully improve upon that."

San Diego quarterbacks completed their first 12 passes, which went into the fourth quarter. Overall the trio of Rivers, Kellen Clemens and Brad Sorensen went 12 of 14 passing for the game.

Garrett wasn't thrilled about his defense yielding 395 yards and missing quite a few tackles, but he also knows the first preseason game can be tricky to evaluate.

The Cowboys take on the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium.


"I think you have to evaluate the individual players," Garrett said. "That's the nature of preseason games. We'll try to evaluate the players individually. There's no excuses that way. It's a great night to evaluate guys though. It's great to see these guys in game action, if they play six plays of 60 plays. Obviously we have a long ways to go."

While missing five starters makes it tough to both compete and evaluate, new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said there are some positives with playing a lot of younger players. However, it was rather extreme for cornerback Korey Lindsey, who joined the team Tuesday night and without even a practice or walk-through, he played Thursday. Lindsey gave up a 70-yard touchdown in the third quarter.  

"It's good for us. You never know when someone has a chance," Marinelli said. "You just don't know. You just keep working and hope to find someone that we like that can help us."

One of those guys could be rookie safety Ahmad Dixon, who had 12 tackles before leaving the game with an apparent head injury. Marinelli said he would prefer to watch the tape before commenting. He did know acknowledge the rookie from Baylor was "around the ball a lot" but added the team overall has to improve its tackling. [embedded_ad]

Moving forward, the Cowboys should get some help both on the line and in the secondary. The team held out cornerback Orlando Scandrick and defensive tackle Henry Melton. Safety Barry Church also didn't play after missing some time with an ankle injury. Cornerback Brandon Carr is expected to join the team in Oxnard after missing two weeks to be with his ailing mother, who passed away last week. George Selvie didn't play with a groin injury and cornerback Morris Claiborne also missed the game with a knee injury that kept him out of practice last week.

dixon_080714_650.jpg


SAN DIEGO – Less than 12 months ago, the Cowboys gave up 506 yards to the Chargers here at Qualcomm Stadium, the third-most single-game total of the season.

And that was against a group of defensive starters that included the likes of Sean Lee, Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware.  

So it's not like Philip Rivers and his gang haven't had success against the best the Cowboys put out there on defense before. But going up against a group that saw at least five starters sitting out, the Chargers pretty much had their way with the Cowboys' defense Thursday night in a 27-7 victory.


Had the Cowboys' defense not come up with two goal-line stops, one that resulted in a fumble recovery in the end zone and another that led to a field goal, San Diego likely would've had 10 more points.

"In general, San Diego was able to move the ball too easily on us," head coach Jason Garrett said. "A couple of times we made some stops down there. They run the ball on us and threw the ball very effectively. For the most part, we didn't make enough stops on defense and hopefully improve upon that."

San Diego quarterbacks completed their first 12 passes, which went into the fourth quarter. Overall the trio of Rivers, Kellen Clemens and Brad Sorensen went 12 of 14 passing for the game.

Garrett wasn't thrilled about his defense yielding 395 yards and missing quite a few tackles, but he also knows the first preseason game can be tricky to evaluate.

The Cowboys take on the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium.


"I think you have to evaluate the individual players," Garrett said. "That's the nature of preseason games. We'll try to evaluate the players individually. There's no excuses that way. It's a great night to evaluate guys though. It's great to see these guys in game action, if they play six plays of 60 plays. Obviously we have a long ways to go."

While missing five starters makes it tough to both compete and evaluate, new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said there are some positives with playing a lot of younger players. However, it was rather extreme for cornerback Korey Lindsey, who joined the team Tuesday night and without even a practice or walk-through, he played Thursday. Lindsey gave up a 70-yard touchdown in the third quarter.  

"It's good for us. You never know when someone has a chance," Marinelli said. "You just don't know. You just keep working and hope to find someone that we like that can help us."

One of those guys could be rookie safety Ahmad Dixon, who had 12 tackles before leaving the game with an apparent head injury. Marinelli said he would prefer to watch the tape before commenting. He did know acknowledge the rookie from Baylor was "around the ball a lot" but added the team overall has to improve its tackling. [embedded_ad]

Moving forward, the Cowboys should get some help both on the line and in the secondary. The team held out cornerback Orlando Scandrick and defensive tackle Henry Melton. Safety Barry Church also didn't play after missing some time with an ankle injury. Cornerback Brandon Carr is expected to join the team in Oxnard after missing two weeks to be with his ailing mother, who passed away last week. George Selvie didn't play with a groin injury and cornerback Morris Claiborne also missed the game with a knee injury that kept him out of practice last week.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising