(Editor's Note: The start of the 2017 season is still a few months away, but it's never too early to prepare. The Cowboys face a daunting schedule this year, highlighted by the AFC West and NFC West, as well as their traditional rivalries in the NFC East. Over the next two weeks, Bryan Broaddus will preview what to expect from all 13 of their upcoming opponents. The series continues with Week 12 and the Los Angeles Chargers.)
Opponent:Los Angeles Chargers
Series Record:Dallas leads, 6-4
This Year's Matchup:Nov. 23, AT&T Stadium
Best Draft Pick:If you were to ask me which NFL club had the best overall draft, I would have to say the Los Angeles Chargers. Out of my Top 50, they selected four players: Mike Williams, Forrest Lamp, Dan Feeney and Desmond King. I especially like the selection of King and playing him as a safety, but the players that will help them the most are Lamp and Feeney. Talking to members of their front office, both players have come in and picked up things well. Both players have the flexibility to play either guard or tackle but will most likely be competing at guard or maybe center. With the possibility of Matt Slauson moving back to guard, Feeney could find himself working some at center.
Best Free Agency Move:The Chargers have always been a club that has the ability to move the ball through the air with Philip Rivers under center. Where they had their struggles was the running game where they ranked 26th in yards per game and yards per rush. As mentioned, they went out and drafted Lamp and Feeney to bolster the line, but they also were able to add veteran Russell Okung from the Broncos. Early indications are that Okung has fit in well with the group and the organization likes his professionalism and hard work. If in fact, if the coaches move Slauson back to guard, then both he and Okung will give the Chargers a solid left side of the line and provide a better opportunity for running back Melvin Gordon to operate.
Most Troublesome Matchup: I have to admit that I was wrong about the initial impact of Joey Bosa. I wasn't sure that he would be able to rush the way he did in his rookie season but he clearly proved me wrong with the numbers that he was able to put up in just 12 games. I will be interested to see how he does against Tyron Smith and likely La'el Collins. Some of the better offensive tackles gave him trouble during the season but with a year's more experience and off season weight training, that could help him combat those matchups.
Most Favorable Matchup:The Chargers could be starting the year with two rookie safeties on the field. The front office drafted King and Rayshawn Jenkins and both are in the hunt for starting positions. This might be a moot point because by the time these two clubs meet, they will be 10 games into the season and the lack of experience might not be as big as a factor.* Unsung Storyline:*Gus Bradley takes over as defensive coordinator with the Chargers. Bradley had a successful run in Seattle but failed as the head coach in Jacksonville. Bradley has the talent to work with in Bosa, Ingram and Casey Hayward. The Chargers were one of the best in the league when it came to intercepting passes, so the turnovers are there. But can he make them better overall than just mid-pack?